JAN 23, 2019 1:54 PM PST

Stroke Drug May Prevent Alzheimer

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, scientists at the University of Southern California discovered that a drug used for the treatment of stroke may also prevent Alzheimer's disease. The study shows that the brains of Alzheimer-model mice were protected from Alzheimer-like symptoms by a genetically modified version of a human blood protein (activated protein C) called ‘3K3A-APC’. The drug specifically protected the brain by reducing the buildup of toxic amyloid-beta peptides, preventing memory loss, and reducing inflammation—all common features of Alzheimer disease.

Learn more about Alzheimer disease:

3K3A-APC also reduces inflammation and protects both neurons and the cells that line the walls of blood vessels. Besides treating stroke--the protein was also shown to have positive effects on other models of disease including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple sclerosis, and was clinically proven to be safe well-tolerated and capable of reducing intracerebral bleeding. "Because of its neuroprotective, vasculoprotective, and anti-inflammatory activities in multiple models of neurological disorders, we investigated whether 3K3A-APC can also protect the brain from the toxic effects of amyloid-beta toxin in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease," says Berislav V. Zlokovic, the Director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California.

3K3A-APC (right) greatly reduced the amount of amyloid-beta (green) that accumulated in brains of model mice that develop Alzheimer like symptoms in comparison with no treatment (left).

Credit: Lazic et al., 2019 via Science Daily

In the paper, 3K3A-APC protected the brain by preventing nerve cells from synthesizing an enzyme called BACE1 that in return produces amyloid-beta. Although several different inhibitors of BACE1 have gone through clinical trials, using 3K3A-APC for the inhibition of BACE1 is an alternative approach especially at early stages of the Alzheimer when amyloid-beta has not yet to accumulated to dangerous levels resulting in permanent damage in the brain. "Our present data support the idea that 3K3A-APC holds potential as an effective anti-amyloid-beta therapy for early stage Alzheimer's disease in humans," Zlokovic says.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
OCT 15, 2020
Neuroscience
Neurometabolism: A bold, new frontier
OCT 15, 2020
Neurometabolism: A bold, new frontier
Billions of neurons communicate with each other through trillions of synapses to create a functioning, unique system we ...
OCT 23, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Common Asthmatic Treatments Increase Risk of Bone Fractures
OCT 23, 2020
Common Asthmatic Treatments Increase Risk of Bone Fractures
A study published in the journal Thorax found that taking steroid inhalers or tablets for asthma treatment to control fl ...
NOV 03, 2020
Cardiology
A New Peptide Could Help Repair and Protect the Heart During Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
NOV 03, 2020
A New Peptide Could Help Repair and Protect the Heart During Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death in the world. Although we have many treatments against ...
NOV 09, 2020
Microbiology
Fighting COVID-19 with Help From Llamas
NOV 09, 2020
Fighting COVID-19 with Help From Llamas
Camelids, which include llamas, alpacas and camels have immune systems that generate two kinds of antibodies when confro ...
NOV 02, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Potential Therapy for Alzheimer Disease
NOV 02, 2020
Potential Therapy for Alzheimer Disease
A main characteristic of Alzheimer disease is an aggregate of a protein (peptide) clump in the brain leading to memory l ...
NOV 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Increased Deaths in Older Patients with COPD
NOV 22, 2020
Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Increased Deaths in Older Patients with COPD
Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have found that two synthetic cannabinoids available on prescri ...
Loading Comments...