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New Chemical Destroyed Alzheimer's Plaques In Mice, Restored Memory And Learning

Update Date: Dec 11, 2015 12:43 PM EST
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Scientists from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, have used mice to make some genetic alterations, in order to develop Alzheimer's disease.

They have then found that 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazinepropanesulphonic acid (EPPS) can efface built up amyloid protein related to the disease so that memory and behavioural issues can be addressed.

The research team conducted an experiment. They first gave EPPS to mice through their drinking water, and then injected abnormal amyloid protein into their bodies. Sometimes the chemical was given to the mice simultaneously. It restored the memory problems involved in this protein. Moreover, it enabled the EPPS to cross into the brain easily. Hence, it faced a major challenge faced by developers of drugs fighting Alzheimer's disease.

In the next experiment, the scientists found that EPPS treatments could improve the performance of mice that were genetically engineered to develop amyloid plaques. They took tests of memory and learning and compared them to healthy mice as well as untreated genetically modified mice.

"There is currently a strong focus on developing treatments for Alzheimer's that aim to stop the build-up of the hallmark Alzheimer's protein, amyloid, in the brain," Simon Ridley, Director of Research at Alzheimer's Research U.K., said in a press release. "Although some anti-amyloid drugs are currently in late-stage clinical testing, several trials have also failed and there is much debate as whether this is a suitable approach for a new treatment. Many of the current drugs being explored act to stop the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain which mean they may need to be given early in the disease process."

The research could find a chemical that was able to break down amyloid plaques, which gave the brain the potential to restore the memory and learning that had got dissolved.

"With no new treatments for Alzheimer's licensed since 2002, we urgently need to capitalise on promising early science to make sure it's progressed as quickly as possible towards clinical testing," said Ridley. "Alzheimer's Research UK has launched several large initiatives, including our Drug Discovery Alliance, to ensure that positive early findings can be moved towards new treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's more quickly."

The study was published in the Dec. 8 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

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