A research group from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Arizona State University has been investigating drugs used for other conditions in hopes of finding a potential for its use in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Utilizing a number of data sets from cohort studies, and brain banks, they designed their study to compare biological networks. They found that the biology of Alzheimer’s disease is a complex interaction of viral and genetic factors. Specifically, herpesvirus 6A and 7 were found to be higher in population samples of those with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer Society Research Program announced that they will be giving $2.9 million to 29 researchers across Canada whose research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease. Research goals include finding effective diagnostic mechanisms, treatments, cures, and improving quality of life for all those living with the disease. Highlights of some of the researchers include Selena Maxwell from Dalhousie University whose research focus is on the prefrontal cortex’s function in relation to memory loss. Dr.
Researchers from Waterford Technology Institute and Cambridge University have made a promising development in possible Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment. They set out to study the effects of a specially formulated fish oil supplement with macular carotenoids in comparison to only macular carotenoids. These nutritional compounds composing the supplement are found in pepper, broccoli, and trout. In healthy brains, these components are in high concentration in comparison to unhealthy brains, which suggest their role in cognitive functioning.
The fight to find a cure has hit another roadblock this week as pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly announced that they were discontinuing their phase three trials for an experimental drug. People with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease were given lanabecestat at 20mg, 50 mg, or a placebo to assess the drug’s effects. Lanabecestat is an experimental BACE inhibitor that is being called off after the data monitoring committee saw that the drug was unlikely to meet primary endpoints.
Although traditionally thought as the waste disposal units of the cell, exosomes have a much more complex relationship with the processing of information between cells as well. Researchers out of Linköping University have found that exosomes are spreading amyloid proteins to unaffected neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The spread of the disease has alluded researchers, as it was assumed that it was passed through proximity. Absorption of exosomes in unaffected neurons offers the answer to why spread of the disease can be observed in other parts of the brain.