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 One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>