Biological research scientists from the Salk Institute have developed a drug that will help deal with memory impairment and slow down Alzheimer's disease in older mice. Known as J147, the drug may well provide a new form of treatment for Alzheimer's disease in humans.
Over 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association. She is listed as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is one of the causes that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed down. Currently there are no disease-modifying drugs for Alzheimer's. These drugs on the market offer only a short-term effect and do not solve the problems of reducing brain function, which erases memory and clarity.
Marguerite Prior, lead author of the study, said: “J147 is an amazing new invention, because it really has a lot of potential to be a therapeutic drug for Alzheimer's disease, slowing the progression of the disease and reducing memory deficit after short-term treatment.”
Trends in the pharmaceutical industry previously paid attention to the biological pathways involved in the formation of protein deposits that characterize Alzheimer's. However, members of the Salk team used live neurons grown in the laboratory to check whether their synthetic compounds — based on products derived from plants — were defenders of brain cells from several symptoms of aging. J147 affects several cellular processes associated with Alzheimer's disease, including an increase in protein that protects neurons from toxic poisoning. This protein also helps the growth of new neurons and their connections with other brain cells and is involved in the formation of memory.
This important ability to protect nerve cells also led researchers to believe that J147 may be effective in treating other neurological disorders, namely Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as stroke.
J147 is already safe for mice, but the next step will require clinical trials in humans.
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