Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the formation of what is often referred to as “plaques and tangles,” disruptive formations that accumulate and cause damage to the brain. Researchers out of the Washington University School of Medicine investigated a protein found within the characteristic Alzheimer’s plaques called APOE. They found that they could target this protein with an antibody, HAE-4, developed in collaboration with Denali Therapeutics. Mice models were genetically altered to be predisposed to develop amyloid plaque and to have the human APOE gene. These mice were given injections of the antibody or a placebo. What they found was they could target the specific protein within the plaques and sweep away the plaques from the brain through signalling immune cells to destroy the entire plaque – not just the protein- cutting the number of plaques in half. Interestingly, the antibody only affected APOE in the brain, not in the blood. Blood APOE is important in fat and cholesterol transportation. Further studies are in the planning process to determine if this antibody is safe for human trails.
Source: EurekAlert!; March 26, 2018; https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/wuso-ara032118.php
Date Retrieved: March 29, 2018