Drinkable cure for Alzheimer’s?

Yale University researchers may have stumbled across a drinkable cure for Alzheimer’s, having identified a cocktail of molecules that interferes with the disease and possibly even restores memories.

In a report on the journal Cell Reports, Yale researchers claim they have created a cocktail of designer molecules that interferes with the crucial first step of Alzheimer’s. According to a Yale University report, the “binding of amyloid beta peptides to prion proteins triggers a cascade of devasting events in the progression of Alzheimer’s – accumulation of plaques, a destructive immune system response, and damage to synapses”.

“We wanted to find molecules that might have a therapeutic effect on this network,” said senior author and director of Yale University’s Alzheimer’s research department, Stephen Strittmatter.

While attempting to identify molecules that might interfere with the early stages of Alzheimer’s, Prof. Strittmatter and research scientist Erik Gunther found that an old antibiotic that looked like a promising candidate but was only active after decomposing to form a polymer, some of which were able to pass through the blood-brain barrier.

They then dissolved this compound and tested it on mice with conditions that simulate Alzheimer’s. After delivery, they found that synapses in mice brains were repaired and lost memories were recovered.

In an article on the New York Post, Dr David Reynolds from Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “The researchers showed that this experimental drug is able to improve memory symptoms and restore vital nerve cell connections in mice bred to have features of Alzheimer’s.”

“These promising early results will need to be reproduced in further experiments that also establish the drug’s safety profile before it can enter clinical trials to see whether it is effective in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

“With no new drug treatment for dementia in over 15 years, promising early findings like this serve as a positive reminder that research is making progress towards breakthroughs that will change lives.”

In the same article, Dr James Pickett from Alzheimer’s Society said: “We are looking into whether diabetes and arthritis treatments could benefit people with dementia, so it’s fascinating that something based on antibiotics could too.”

Clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease will commence once the compound is verified as non-toxic.

Would you take part in trials for Alzheimer’s research? Does the idea of an anti-dementia drinkable cocktail appeal to you?

Related articles:
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Existing drug could treat Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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