Alzheimer’s research breakthrough

Case Western Reserve discovers FDA-approved drug rapidly clears amyloid from brain and reverses cognitive defects in mice as a potential cure for Alzheimer’s; published in journal Science. The medication is called bexarotene; this med hs been approved for the tretment of cancer but might also be used to help Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s arises from the body’s inability to clear naturally occurring amyloid beta from the brain. Researchers found that the main cholesterol carrier in the brain, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) facilitated the clearance of the amyloid beta proteins. Researchers chose to explore the effectiveness of bexarotene for increasing ApoE expression. The elevation of brain ApoE levels, in turn, speeds the clearance of amyloid beta from the brain. Besarotene acts by stimulating retinoid X receptors (RXR), which control how much ApoE is produced. In a research model using mice, within 6 hours of administering besarotene, soluble amylid levels fell by 25%; even more impressive, the effect lasted as long as 3 days. Bexarotene treatment also worked quickly to stimulate the removal of amyloid plaques from the brain. Researchers found theat more than half of the plaques had been cleared within 72 hrs. Ultimately, the reduction totaled 75%. It appears that the bexarotene reprogrammed the brain’s immune cells to ‘eat’ or phagocytose the amyloid deposits. The observation demonstrated that the drug addresses the amount of both soluble and deposited forms of amyloid beta within the brain and reverses the pathological features of the disease in mice. The next objective is to ascertain if. bexarotene acts similarly in humans.

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