New technique that uses gene therapy delivers nerve growth factor into regions of the brain where neurons are degenerating, in order to prevent cell death and reverse cell atrophy.
Investigators at Rush University Medical Center have successfully initiated a new technique that uses gene therapy to deliver nerve growth factor into regions of the brain where neurons are degenerating, in order to prevent cell death and reverse cell atrophy, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. If successful, this could be a major step toward modifying the course of the disease. Rush is the only center in this study.
The new technique uses CERE-110 as the gene therapy agent. CERE-110 carries the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) gene encased in a harmless viral coating, which protects the gene and facilitates its delivery to brain cells. The active part of the drug is the NGF gene, the human DNA strand that codes for the NGF protein, a natural substance that exerts positive effects on brain cells. A key objective of the study is to deliver the CERE-110 directly to the part of the brain that is almost universally affected by Alzheimer’s disease, the basal forebrain, and not to other parts of the brain where it may cause side effects.
John Pontarelli | EurekAlert!
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