Biologists at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have developed a compound capable of blocking a nerve cell interaction that leads to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers have successfully prevented the death of brain cells, which leads to improved memory and learning ability that was already damaged. "Alzheimer’s sufferers produce too much amyloid and ABAD in their brains," said Frank Gunn-Moore, senior lecturer at the University of St. Andrews. "Based on our knowledge of ABAD, we produced an inhibitor that can prevent amyloid attaching to it in a living model." The researchers are now trying to refine the inhibitor to develop a potential drug, particularly for the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Scientists at the Mayo Clinics are aiming to develop an improved diagnostic method and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers are studying aging effects in elderly people and analyzing how aging changes brain structure, thought processes and blood chemistry, so they can model and predict progression to Alzheimer’s disease. “We have moved a great distance forward in understanding what might be the key, or, in the least, an important aspect of this disease," said Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D. at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "We are at the threshold of developing therapies that we hope will eventually impact Alzheimer’s disease."
A study published in the July 31 issue of Neurology showed that a drug initially used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease improved the memory, language and attention of people with severe Alzheimer’s disease. The study was carried out on 343 patients over a period of six months. Half the group was given a daily dose of donepezil, the other half got a placebo. The study found cognitive function stabilized or improved in 63% of the patients taking donepezil compared to 39% who were taking placebo. "Our findings provide further evidence that donepezil is safe, effective and benefits cognition and global function in people with severe Alzheimer’s disease,” said Sandra Black, professor of Neurology at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center.
Powered by Qumana