New approach to Alzheimer's treatment: Enzyme is supposed to fight several factors at the same time

New approach to Alzheimer's treatment: Enzyme is supposed to fight several factors at the same time

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Improved treatment for Alzheimer's in the near future?

A new target for the treatment of Alzheimer's could double-inhibit the disease and thus counteract swelling in the brain and the formation of plaques.

A study by the University of Queensland identified a potential target for more effective treatment for Alzheimer's. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Journal of Neuroscience".

Combat swelling in the brain and plaque formation at the same time?

When investigating mice, the researchers found that a specific enzyme causes swelling in the brain and plaque formation. This could be a future target for drugs for Alzheimer's. Swelling in the brain and the formation of plaques are considered to be possible causes of the degenerative disease, and if a drug were to target the discovered enzyme, both problems could be combated at the same time, the researchers report.

Current treatments are aimed at only one goal

So far, all strategies for treating Alzheimer's have either served to reduce the harmful build-up of peptides or to reduce swelling of the neurons. No current treatment tries to address both factors at the same time. A drug that has already been tested for the treatment of leukemia in mice has been able to reduce the production of the enzyme, which affects both swelling and plaque formation, in the current trials.

More research is needed

The biggest hurdle is the search for a way for the drug to overcome the so-called blood-brain barrier, which prevents (harmful) substances from reaching the brain via the bloodstream, explains the research group. The so-called blood-brain barrier is in place to prevent access to the brain. Therefore, a very special composition is required so that this barrier can be passed, the researchers further explain. If this limit can be overcome and it can be shown that this is the case in model experiments on mice, clinical studies in humans can be continued. Until then, however, it will take some time.

Combined therapies for Alzheimer's are needed

For cancer, current treatment is towards combined therapies, immunotherapies and pharmacological treatments. Treatment of Alzheimer's should go in a similar direction, the research group concluded. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Ramón Martínez-Mármol, Nika Mohannak, Lei Qian, Tong Wang, Rachel S. Gormal et al .: p110δ PI 3-kinase inhibition perturbs APP and TNFα trafficking, reduces plaque burden, dampens neuroinflammation and prevents cognitive decline in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model , in Journal of Neuroscience (query: 23.09.2019), Journal of Neuroscience

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