AUG 05, 2020 8:33 AM PDT

New Drug Prevents Inherited Alzheimer's in Mice

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers at the Salk Institute have developed a new drug candidate that has successfully prevented Alzheimer's-related memory loss in mice. 

Known as CMS121, it is a synthesized form of fisetin, a chemical found in fruits and vegetables. While it has previously been shown to slow down aging in brain cells, the new study shows that it is also able to prevent memory loss by changing how brain cells metabolize fatty molecules. 

For the research, the researchers studied mice with an inherited condition similar to Alzheimer's. While one group of mice received daily doses of CMS121 at nine months old- the equivalent of being 'middle-aged'- the other group acted as a control and did not receive the drug. The researchers also monitored a control group without the genetic condition. 

After three months, all groups of mice underwent several memory and behavior tests. In both kinds of tests, the researchers found that the mice who had received CMD121 tended to perform as well as healthy control animals. Meanwhile, the untreated mice with the disease tended to perform worse. 

To understand how the drug worked, the researchers compared the neurochemistry of the three groups of mice. In doing so, they found that untreated mice had high levels of lipid peroxidation- the degradation of lipids that produce free radical molecules that can go on to damage cells. Meanwhile, both treated and healthy mice had lower levels of lipid peroxidation. 

As such, the researchers concluded that CMS121 lowered levels of lipid-producing fatty-molecule called fatty acid synthase (FASN), which then went on to reduce levels of lipid peroxidation. Given that brain samples of human patients who have died from Alzheimer's tend to exhibit higher amounts of FASN, the researchers say that FASN could be a new drug target for Alzheimer's disease. 

While the researchers themselves are now progressing into clinical trials, they hope that other researchers will investigate other compounds that target the FASN and lipid peroxidation. 

 

Sources: Neuroscience NewsScience Direct

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
DEC 27, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Delivering DNA- & RNA-Based Therapies in a New Way
DEC 27, 2020
Delivering DNA- & RNA-Based Therapies in a New Way
Gene therapy holds tremendous promise for its potential to cure genetic diseases. We've also recently seen how critical ...
JAN 13, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibody Can Target Dengue Viral Proteins
JAN 13, 2021
Antibody Can Target Dengue Viral Proteins
Researchers have found an antibody that can stop the spread of the dengue virus—a mosquito-borne pathogen that inf ...
FEB 02, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Using Genetic Tools to Find Treatment Options for PTSD
FEB 02, 2021
Using Genetic Tools to Find Treatment Options for PTSD
With genome-wide association studies, researchers have been able to link small variations in the genome to a greater (or ...
MAR 04, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
How Placebo Drugs for Pain Work in the Brain
MAR 04, 2021
How Placebo Drugs for Pain Work in the Brain
Researchers from Dartmouth College have found that pain relief drugs that work via the placebo effect reduce pain-relate ...
APR 01, 2021
Immunology
Tumor-Killing 101: Vaccine Trains Immune Cells to Keep Skin Cancer at Bay
APR 01, 2021
Tumor-Killing 101: Vaccine Trains Immune Cells to Keep Skin Cancer at Bay
Cancer researchers have developed a therapeutic vaccine for melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Instead of protectin ...
APR 05, 2021
Neuroscience
Could a Keto Diet Treat Alzheimer's Disease?
APR 05, 2021
Could a Keto Diet Treat Alzheimer's Disease?
  Researchers from Brigham Young University have found evidence that eating a ketogenic diet- which is a diet that ...
Loading Comments...