News of World Medicine

Scientists have found a new method to treat Alzheimer's disease

A targeting effect on tau protein tangles in mice with symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease allowed to reverse the brain damage, slow down the memory loss and increase the lifespan of rodents, New Scientist reports. It is known that two kinds of deposits of sticky proteins such as beta-amyloid deposits and tau protein tangles are observed in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

All attempts to find a cure for the disease have been associated with exposure to the beta-amyloid protein. Meanwhile, tau protein is uniquely associated with memory loss. Based on this fact, the scientists of the University of Washington propose to reduce tau protein concentration in particular. Thanks to RNA fragments (antisense oligonucleotides), they have succeeded. These fragments interfere with the work of the gene that responds for tau protein production, and do not let the protein to be fully formed.

Every day within four weeks the scientists injected Tau-ASO12 therapeutic drug into the cerebrospinal fluid of mice. Moreover, the animals were initially predisposed to the development of dangerous tau protein. The drug has managed to spread in the brain. It destroyed the existing deposits of tau protein and prevented the protein’s spread in the future.

Thanks to these injections the mice lived by 50 days longer than those in the control group. Plus, they have kept important skills such as nest building. Also the injections were performed in monkeys. Their level of tau protein was reduced by about 20%. But it is important that there were no side effects recorded.

Source: New Scientist.