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
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 20, 2022
Health & Medicine
The Link between Mental Health and COVID Breakthrough Infection
APR 20, 2022
The Link between Mental Health and COVID Breakthrough Infection
Researchers from University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System conduc ...
MAY 09, 2022
Cancer
A Gel Implant Protects from Cancer Recurrence
MAY 09, 2022
A Gel Implant Protects from Cancer Recurrence
Following a successful course of cancer treatment, a patient may enter remission. Remission, classified as either partia ...
MAY 19, 2022
Neuroscience
The Unconscious Brain at Work
MAY 19, 2022
The Unconscious Brain at Work
A study published in Neuron revealed how different cell types in the cerebral cortex change their activity during genera ...
JUN 09, 2022
Cardiology
Supplements and Heart Health
JUN 09, 2022
Supplements and Heart Health
There is little evidence that supplements actually improve heart health.
JUN 11, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Inhaled Aerosol Vaccines More Effective than Nasal Sprays
JUN 11, 2022
Inhaled Aerosol Vaccines More Effective than Nasal Sprays
Inhaled aerosol vaccines provide more protection than nasal sprays and evoke a stronger immune response. The correspondi ...
JUN 19, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy Most Effective Before 12 Months Old
JUN 19, 2022
Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy Most Effective Before 12 Months Old
Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergies is safer and more effective in children under 12 months old than in toddlers and ...
Loading Comments...