Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lowering beta-amyloid levels in blood to treatment Alzheimer’s

07.01.2003


Agents that alter blood levels of beta-amyloid protein in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease represent a potential approach to treating the illness in humans that may be safer than the vaccine method of therapy, researchers report in a new study.



Beta-amyloid protein is a component of the amyloid plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer¡’s disease. Beta-amyloid is viewed by many researchers and clinicians as the underlying cause of the degeneration and dementia that characterize the illness. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. There is no cure. Approximately four million Americans have the disease and some 14 million are expected to have it by 2050 unless a cure or preventive treatment is found.

"Recent evidence suggests that this protein in the peripheral circulation outside the brain may contribute to its accumulation in the brain," says study co-author Karen Duff, PhD, of the Center for Dementia Research, Nathan Kline Institute/New York University. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer’s Association, appears in the January 1 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.


If Alzheimer’s disease can effectively be treated by agents that do not need to enter the brain, pharmaceutical companies may be able to develop targeted drugs that have few effects on the central nervous system, she adds. Previous animal studies suggested that one way to do this was through a vaccine that produced antibodies to amyloid. But Elan Corporation and American Home Products ended trials of their immune-based Alzheimer’s vaccine in February 2002 after 15 patients experienced swelling of the central nervous system.

"There’s good medical precedent seen in the treatment of coronary heart disease by administering agents that lower serum cholesterol levels," notes Bradley Hyman, MD, PhD, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "This kind of parallel approach ¨C blocking beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain by binding it to an agent in the bloodstream ¨C represents an extremely viable line of research."

Other scientists, however, suggest the results of such studies be viewed with caution. "Having a substance that acts as a peripheral sink for brain beta-amyloid may simply be shifting the damage from the brain to the vasculature and body itself," says Gary Arendash, PhD, professor of biology and psychology at the University of South Florida. "This approach may trap a considerable amount of beta-amyloid in the cerebral blood vessels, weakening them and leading to cerebral hemorrhage."

In the new study, Duff, Dr. Yasuji Matsuoka and their colleagues injected the beta-amyloid binding agent gelsolin into the peripheral bloodstreams of 13 mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease. They also performed sham injections in 16 other mice with the same genetic background. Both groups received injections every two days for three weeks. Upon examination, the brains of mice receiving gelsolin had significantly less beta-amyloid protein than those in the other group. Use of gelsolin also resulted in a significant decrease in the number of brain plaques.

The scientists saw similar results when they used another beta-amyloid binding agent, ganglioside GM1.

"We do not advocate using these particular agents as treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in humans," Duff says. "Rather, we see this as an initial step in the development of compounds that act in this manner, and as proof-of-concept for a prophylactic approach that may be more flexible, more reliable and less likely to cause side effects in long-term administration paradigms than immunization-based therapies."

Duff and Matsuoka’s colleagues in this study include: Mariko Saito, Mitsuo Saito, John LaFrancois, Kate Gaynor, Vicki Olm, Lili Wang, Evelyn Casey, Yifan Lu, Chiharu Shiratori and Cynthia Lemere. Duff, Matsuoka and Lemere are members of the Society for Neuroscience, which publishes The Journal of Neuroscience. SfN is an organization of more than 31,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. Duff can be reached at 845-398-5427; Matsuoka can be reached at
845-398-2175.

Phil Kibak | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfn.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>