New cancer drug candidate may treat Alzheimer’s disease

New York, March 1 (IANS) Opening a new window of opportunity for treating dementia, researchers have found that a drug compound created to treat cancer can restore memory in mice with Alzheimer’s like disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour.

The drug flushes away the abundant inflammatory cells produced in reaction to beta-amyloid plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, the findings showed.

The study, published in the journal Brain, showed that these cells, called microglia, contribute to the neuronal and memory deficits seen in this neurodegenerative disease.

“Our work is telling us that these cells may contribute to the disease process, and targeting them with such specific drugs is a promising new approach,” said one of the researchers Kim Green, assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine, US.

In healthy tissue, microglia act as the first and main form of immune defence in the central nervous system.

But in a diseased state, such as Alzheimer’s, microglia appear to turn against the healthy tissue they were originally assigned to protect, causing inflammation in the brain.

The beta-amyloid plaques in brain areas related to Alzheimer’s disease are rich with these rogue microglia, Green added.

In their experiments, the researchers treated mice with Alzheimer’s like disease with a small-molecule inhibitor compound called pexidartinib, or PLX3397, which is currently being used in several phase two oncology studies.

The researchers noted a lack of neuron death and improved memory and cognition in the pexidartinib-treated mice, along with renewed growth of dendritic spines that enable brain neurons to communicate.

Green said that although the compound swept away microglia, the beta-amyloid remained, raising new questions about the part these plaques play in Alzheimer’s neurodegenerative process.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here