A major breakthrough shows much hope for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, a complicated and devastating disease affecting both victim and loved ones.
The research, published in FASEB Journal, was carried out by scientists from the National Institutes of Health using mice diseased with the equivalent of human Alzheimer’s. When a molecule called TFP5 was injected into the mice, their symptoms reversed and memory was restored. Also remarkable is that the injections caused no toxic side effects.
TFP5 was derived from the regulator of a key brain enzyme, called Cdk5. The over activation of Cdk5 is implicated in the formation of plaques and tangles, the major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
“The next step is to find out if this molecule can have the same effects in people, and if not, to find out which molecule will,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal. “Now that we know that we can target the basic molecular defects in Alzheimer’s disease, we can hope for treatments far better — and more specific — than anything we have today.”
“We hope that clinical trial studies in AD patients should yield an extended and a better quality of life as observed in mice upon TFP5 treatment,” said Harish C. Pant, Ph.D., a senior researcher involved in the work from the Laboratory of Neurochemistry at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders at Stroke at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. “Therefore, we suggest that TFP5 should be an effective therapeutic compound.”