In a new study from the University of Oslo, researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) method to help them identify potential new medicines for Alzheimer’s.
The new medicine seems to be more precise. No side effects were documented during tests with worms and mice.
One of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease is the degeneration and loss of nerve cells in the brain as we age. A cell is like finely tuned machinery.
The cell needs the energy to perform its tasks. The energy comes from energy factories called mitochondria.
In young, healthy cells, old or damaged mitochondria are removed from the cell in a process called mitophagy.
In the study, the research group found that when people get older, they have more broken mitochondria, and the cells will not be able to remove all of them anymore.
An accumulation of broken mitochondria clogs the cell’s ordinary processes and eventually, the cell will die.
Because the clogging of the machinery is a part of the problem, the researchers had to find a way to boost the cleaning process.
They looked into the use of so-called mitophagy inducers. The idea was to find a way to increase the level of waste management in the patient’s brain cells.
The team previously described how It may be possible to find a way to stimulate the cells’ own self-cleansing system.
The researchers wanted to find substances that may induce the cleaning process. They used AI to search for substances similar to known mitophagy inducers.
The computer program browsed through a large catalog of substances and identified two candidates, rhapontigenin and kaempferol.
The team used mice and nematodes, a type of worms, to document whether use of these substances ontheir nerve cells inhibited memory loss.
The researchers have filed a patent on rhapontigenin for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
They are now working on describing both how rhapontigenin and kaempferol may help us delay the progression of memory loss, and how it may help us reduce disease progression when it has occurred.
In addition, they are also going to describe the in-depth molecular mechanisms that help kaempferol and rhapontigenin to induce mitophagy.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about high blood pressure in midlife that could increase brain damage, and results showing this new drug may reduce brain inflammation, help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
One researcher of the study is Evandro F. Fang.
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