An Alzheimer’s drug in development restores brain function and memory in mice, new research reveals.
Various studies have linked Alzheimer’s to the accumulation of specific proteins in the brain.
These protein clusters may create pores in nerve cells that allow particles, known as ions, to travel in and out uncontrollably, triggering cell death and dementia symptoms.
The new drug, known as anle138b, attaches to the protein clusters and closes up pores in nerve cells.
Study author Christian Griesinger from the Max Planck Institute in Munich, said: ‘The drug is able to reach the brain when taken orally. Therefore, it is easy to administer, and we are currently performing toxicology studies to eventually be able to apply anle138b to humans.’
Alzheimer’s disease affects around 5.5 million in the US and 850,000 people in the UK.
An Alzheimer’s drug in development restores brain function and memory in mice (stock)
WHAT IS ANLE138B?
anle138b is a powder-based drug that reduces Parkinson’s disease and protein accumulation in the brain in animal models.
Animal studies also show the drug extends the life of creatures with such protein clusters.
Past trials have found no side effects even after animals received a high dose of the drug for more than a year.
It is unclear when anle138b may be available for humans.
How the research was carried out
The researchers from administered anle138b to mice at-risk of developing Alzheimer’s-like conditions.
The animals’ symptoms included abnormal brain function, reduced memory and high levels of proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s.
Restores brain function and memory
Results reveal the drug restores brain function and memory in mice.
Mr Griesinger said: ‘The drug is able to reach the brain when taken orally. Therefore, it is easy to administer, and we are currently performing toxicology studies to eventually be able to apply anle138b to humans.’
Although the results are encouraging, the researchers add the drug’s effectiveness is unclear until it is tested in humans.
Study author André Fischer from the University Medical Center Göttingen, added: ‘I would like to emphasize that none of the current animal models fully recapitulate the symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s patients.
‘Thus, care has to be taken when interpreting such data. However, our study offers evidence that anle138b has potential for neuroprotection.’
The researchers plan to use magnetic particles to better guide the drug to the areas of the brain where it needs to be released both in Alzheimer’s and other conditions related to ion transport through nerve cells, such as tuberculosis and certain cancers.
The findings were published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.
TWICE-A-DAY TABLET REPAIRS DAMAGE AND RESTORES BRAIN FUNCTION TO THAT OF A HEALTHY PERSON IN JUST NINE MONTHS
A breakthrough Alzheimer’s drug edges scientists one step closer to a cure, research suggested last month.
Taken twice a day, a tablet, known as LMTX, significantly improves dementia sufferers’ brain injuries to the extent their MRI scans resemble those of healthy people after just nine months, a study found.
LMTX, which is under investigation, also significantly improves patients’ abilities to carry out everyday tasks such as bathing and dressing themselves, while also boosting their capabilities to correctly name objects and remember the date, the research adds.
The drug contains a chemical that dissolves protein ‘tangles’ in the brain that clump together to form plaques in the region associated with memory, according to its manufacturer TauRx Pharmaceuticals.
Dissolving these tangles and preventing the formation of new plaques may slow or even halt memory loss in dementia sufferers, the pharma company adds.