Drug reversing Alzheimer’s symptoms found

February 12th, 2012 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 12 (IANS) A drug has shown promising results in reversing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease.

The findings show that bexarotene, a drug, appears to reverse the pathological, cognitive and memory deficits caused by the onset of Alzheimer’s in mice.

The finding could potentially open the way to benefit roughly 5.4 million Americans suffering from the debilitating brain condition. Bexarotene has also been approved for cancer treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration for more than a decade.

These experiments explored whether the medication might also be used to help patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and the results were more than promising.

Alzheimer’s disease arises in large part from the body’s inability to clear naturally-occurring amyloid beta proteins from the brain, according to a Case Western Reserve University statement.

In 2008, Case Reserve School of Medicine researcher Gary Landreth, professor of neurosciences, who led the study, discovered that the main cholesterol carrier in the brain, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), facilitated the clearance of the amyloid beta proteins.

Landreth and colleagues chose to explore the effectiveness of bexarotene for increasing ApoE expression. The elevation of brain ApoE levels, in turn, speeds the clearance of amyloid beta from the brain.

Within six hours of administering bexarotene, however, soluble amyloid levels fell by 25 percent; even more impressive, the effect lasted as long as three days. Finally, this shift was correlated with rapid improvement in a broad range of behaviours in three different mouse models of Alzheimer’s.

-Indo-Asian News Service
st/rg/rn

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