An early-stage study on mice paves way for an Alzheimer’s treatment breakthrough. Scientists were able to provide a principle to develop a new drug that may restore memory loss and extend a patient’s life span.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, chronic neurodegenerative disease that affects millions of people in the world. Currently, there is no treatment to stop the disease or reverse its progression.
The treatments we have today only impact temporarily the disease’s symptoms. However, they also come with significant side effects which limit the patient’s compliance.
Study Shows Promising Findings
The scientists from the Medical Research Center (MRC) of the Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester conducted a four-year early stage study on mice. They were able to find a type of dying neurons in mouse prion disease that is closely the same with human’s AD.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the research shows the discovery of a new type of drug called allosteric ligands. This activates the M1 muscarinic receptor protein, present in the brain.
The activation of this receptor protein improves the mice’s symptoms for brain degeneration. Moreover, it was found to extend the lifespan of the terminally ill rodents.
Data for Human Drug
It is worth noting that the scientists did not develop the new drug. Instead, their study provides new avenues and information to create the drugs for humans with Alzheimer’s disease.
Since the medication on the study targets a more specific approach, there are lesser side effects allowing the achievement of the treatment’s full potential. The corresponding author of the study, Professor Tobin, says their work contributes “important information” as to whether the receptor protein is an applicable drug in treating diseases associated with the progressive brain cells deterioration.
Getting to know the disease more supplies better understanding on the exploration of its currently non-existent cure. The latest Alzheimer’s treatment breakthrough only pushes us one step closer to finally addressing the highly-needed cure for one of the leading cause of death in the U.S. alone.