Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes a global, progressive and irreversible deterioration of various cognitive functions (memory, attention, concentration, language, thought, among others).
This deterioration results in changes in behavior, personality and functional capacity of the person, making it difficult to perform their daily activities.
A new experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has proved promising after tests have been performed on some animals such as rats and monkeys, according to researchers who want to test it later on in humans.
This new experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease appears promising after successful trials in rats and monkeys, according to researchers who want to test it in humans, the journal Science Translational Medicine reported Wednesday.
In the early stages, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease can be very subtle, however, they often start with memory lapses and difficulty finding the right words for everyday objects. These symptoms worsen as brain cells die and communication between them is altered.
In the process of this treatment a “family” molecule of the oligonucleotides was used, which affect the genetic instructions that allow to produce the “tau” protein.
The molecule was injected into the cerebrospinal fluid of rats and laboratory monkeys, thereby enabling the reduction of “tau” protein, which in Alzheimer’s patients accumulates abnormally in the brain.
The protein becomes still toxic when it is concentrated in the form of filaments that progressively destroy the neurons (brain cells), thus reaching memory.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that the new treatment may not only reduce tau protein but also reverse some of the neurological damage caused by protein aggregations.
For one of the authors of the study, Timothy Miller, professor of neurology, the molecule used “has a therapeutic potential for humans”.
Clinical trials are already underway to test the efficacy of oligonucleotides against other neurological diseases, such as Huntington’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.