PROMISING NEW TREATMENTS FOR ALZHEIMER’S TARGET MULTIPLE DISEASE-RELATED PROTEINS, MAY HAVE BENEFITS FOR SEVERAL BRAIN DISEASES
Drugs Targeting Protein Misfolding May Be Useful Across Neurodegenerative Diseases According to New Results Reported at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015
WASHINGTON, DC, July 19, 2015 – Promising early results of new drugs that target common components of several brain diseases that cause dementia – including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy Body dementia – were reported today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2015 (AAIC® 2015) in Washington, D.C.
These diseases cause a range of debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, difficulty with language, visual hallucinations or problems with movement, but they all share the same hallmark – the death of brain cells. Many diseases that cause brain cell death and dementia share common characteristics. One is that a particular protein goes through a dramatic change in its shape; often it becomes toxic for nerve cells or the brain connections known as synapses.
Alzheimer’s disease is a triple threat – with soaring prevalence, enormous costs and lack of effective treatment. Today, 47 million people are living with dementia worldwide, and that number is set to almost double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050, according to Alzheimer's Disease International.
When proteins misfold, they can start off a chain reaction of binding to other proteins. This process continues until large aggregates are formed. Two different misfolded proteins – amyloid beta and tau – have been shown to be toxic to brain cells. Their large aggregates – amyloid plaques and tau tangles – are the hallmark brain lesions of Alzheimer’s disease. Treatments that target more than one Alzheimer’s-related protein may be especially useful in managing the disease.
"Alzheimer’s is very complex condition that has been extremely hard to address with the ‘one target, one treatment’ approach that’s been successful in other diseases,” said Maria Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer’s association Chief Science Officer. “Fortunately, we’re beginning to see some very exciting early results at AAIC 2015 of a new treatment approach that targets common components of all the Alzheimer’s proteins, which also are common to other diseases that cause dementia. If these results can be shown in people, this strategy could eventually have benefit not just in Alzheimer’s but for other neurodegenerative diseases.”
In February 2015, the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and the Weston Brain Institute (Canada), launched a new global initiative called Mechanisms of Cellular Death in NeuroDegeneration, with a fund of $1.25 million for targeted research into brain diseases that cause dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. The funding will support pioneering new projects to understand the causes of brain cell death across neurodegenerative diseases.
Effective treatments for Alzheimer’s are desperately needed as it is a triple threat, with soaring prevalence, lack of treatment and enormous costs no one can afford. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the only top 10 cause of death without a way to prevent, cure, or slow its progression. It is the costliest disease to U.S. society./.../
Le groupe bâlois développe un médicament découvert par une société vaudoise/.../