Published on 25/07/2012
Scientists have developed a pill with the potential to treat multiple brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.
Writing in the Journal of Neuroscience, US researchers reported that mice which were genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s did not develop the full blown condition if they took a particular drug from six months of age when levels of a damaging protein began to rise.
Overproduction of these damaging proteins, called pro-inflammatory cytokines, is believed to contribute to a number of degenerative brain conditions.
At eleven months, levels of the proteins in the treated mice were normal, whereas those which had not been treated had unusually high levels and were showing signs of brain deterioration.
Scientists hope that the pill could be taken orally when patients begin to experience early symptoms of a degenerative condition, to prevent the damaging effects of these inflammatory proteins. Co-author Dr Linda Van Eldik said:
“Giving this drug before Alzheimer's memory changes are at a late stage may be a promising future approach to therapy."
Results are yet to be released from the Phase I trial, which assessed the drug’s safety in human patients. US scientists at Northwestern University have already patented two of the drugs, called MW151 and MW189.
This comes after a study in the journal Neurology showed that high levels of a certain type of fat in the blood may increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical