In a new study, researchers found that a drug currently developed for treating stroke patients could also prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
They found that the drug (genetically engineered protein 3K3A-APC) could help reduce the buildup of toxic peptides and prevent memory loss.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Southern California.
The drug 3K3A-APC is a genetically modified version of a human blood protein called activated protein C.
It can reduce inflammation and protects both neurons and the cells that line the walls of blood vessels from death and degeneration.
Previous research has shown that 3K3A-APC has beneficial effects on traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis.
It is currently being developed to treat stroke in humans and has been found safe and well tolerated.
In the current study, the team examined if the drug could also protect the brain from the toxic effects of the amyloid-beta toxin.
Toxic amyloid-beta peptides can accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and cause neurodegeneration and reduced blood flow in the brain.
They tested the drug in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and found that the drug could strongly reduce the accumulation of amyloid-beta in the brain.
It helped prevent memory loss and maintain normal cerebral blood flow. In addition, the drug reduced inflammation in the brain.
The team suggests that this drug may be a new way to treat early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
At early stages, amyloid-beta has yet to accumulate to levels capable of permanently damaging the brain.
The lead author of the study is Berislav V. Zlokovic, Director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California.
The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
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