In Alzheimer’s disease, a protein (peptide) forms clumps in the brain and causes sufferers to lose their memory.
In a recent study from at Uppsala University, researchers found a new treatment method that increases the body’s own degradation of the building blocks that lead to these protein clumps.
In Alzheimer’s disease, the peptide amyloid-beta begins to form clumps in the brain. This process is called aggregation and the clumps so created are called aggregates.
The treatment methods for Alzheimer’s disease that are currently in clinical trials are attempts to bind to these disease-causing aggregates.
But they are unable to bind to the smallest aggregates, which many now believe are the most toxic to neurons.
In the study, the new treatment method degrades the building blocks from which these aggregates form before they have a chance to aggregate. This treatment method therefore reduces the formation of all types of aggregates.
It has long been known that the peptide somatostatin can activate the body’s own degradation of amyloid-beta, which is the peptide that forms the aggregates.
However, it has not been possible to use somatostatin as a drug in the past because it has a very short half-life in the blood of only a few minutes, and does not cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain where the aggregates are formed.
In the study, the researchers saw the greatest effect in hippocampus, the part of the brain that forms memories and the first part to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
They say the fact that the effect is most evident in the hippocampus in particular is very good.
Their hope is that this method will be able to act in a very targeted way and have few side effects, which have been a problem in other studies.
The study was conducted in mice, but the researchers believe that the new method would have the same effect in humans and that this type of treatment could be more effective than those trialled so far.
If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about a noninvasive treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and findings of subconscious changes in movement may predict Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about Alzheimer’s and your health, please see recent studies about this sleep-related brain activity can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and results showing that these 2 personality traits may protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and more.
The study is published in Theranostics. One author of the study is Fadi Rofo.
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