Asthma drug could help fight Alzheimer’sMarch 27th, 2011 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, March 27 (IANS) An asthma drug has shown promise in inhibiting the formation of a brain peptide (compound) known as amyloid beta, known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
In previous studies, Temple University researchers discovered that 5-lipoxygenase, a brain enzyme, controls the activation of gamma secretase, another enzyme responsible for the production of amyloid beta.
When produced in excess, amyloid beta causes nerve cell death and forms plaques in the brain. The amount of these amyloid plaques in the brain is used as a measurement of the severity of Alzheimer’s (loss of brain function that affects memory, thinking and behaviour), the American Journal of Pathology reports.
Led by Domenico Praticò, associate professor of pharmacology in Temple’s School of Medicine, researchers tested the drug Zileuton, which is used in treating asthma, in an engineered mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Temple statement.
At the end of the treatment they found that this drug, by blocking the 5-lipoxygenase, reduced the production of amyloid beta and the subsequent build up of amyloid plaques in the brain by more than 50 percent.
“This drug is already in the market and, most importantly, is already approved by the FDA (Federal Drugs Agency). So you don’t need to go through an intense drug discovery process,” said Praticò.
“We could quickly begin a clinical trial to determine if there is a new application for this drug against a disease where there is currently nothing,” he added.
- Asthma drug could help fight Alzheimer's disease - Mar 26, 2011
- Scientists eliminate plaque formation in Alzheimer's - Sep 06, 2012
- Alzheimer's drug not as harmful as believed - Jun 18, 2010
- Liver, not brain, may be source of Alzheimer's plaques - Mar 04, 2011
- How Alzheimer's plaques lead to loss of nitric oxide in brain - Jan 11, 2011
- Chronic high cholesterol diet leads to brain damage: Study - Nov 25, 2010
- Tobacco-derived compound prevents memory loss in Alzheimer's - Apr 28, 2011
- Drug reverses Alzheimer's symptoms in mice: Study - Feb 10, 2012
- Blood vessel dysfunction linked to heart disease also plays role in Alzheimer's - Dec 03, 2010
- Alzheimer's disease drug may treat traumatic brain injury too - Jul 13, 2009
- Key target molecule for Alzheimer's therapy identified - Jul 31, 2010
- Sleep disorders are early signs of Alzheimer's - Sep 06, 2012
- New method to cleanse brain of Alzheimer's plaques developed - Dec 10, 2010
- Drug reversing Alzheimer's symptoms found - Feb 12, 2012
- New tool sweeps away Alzheimer's plaque from brain - Dec 13, 2010
Tags: american journal of pathology, amyloid plaques, associate professor, asthma drug, brain enzyme, brain function, clinical trial, drug discovery, fight alzheimer, gamma secretase, journal of pathology, mouse model, nerve cell death, new application, peptide, pharmacology, school of medicine, temple university, university researchers, zileuton