[ExI] A step forward in Alzheimer’s investigation

SR Ballard sen.otaku at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 21:09:03 UTC 2020

Possible Missing Link in Alzheimer’s Pathology Identified


“Alzheimer's disease has long been characterized by the buildup of two distinct proteins in the brain: first beta-amyloid, which accumulates in clumps, or plaques, and then tau, which forms toxic tangles that lead to cell death. But how beta-amyloid leads to the devastation of tau has never been precisely clear.”

“Buildup of beta-amyloid activates a receptor that responds to a brain chemical called norepinephrine, which is commonly known for mobilizing the brain and body for action. Activation of this receptor by both beta-amyloid and norepinephrine boosts the activity of an enzyme that activates tau and increases the vulnerability of brain cells to it”

“Beta-amyloid itself can kill neurons but only in very high doses, Wang says. Add norepinephrine, and it takes only 1 to 2 percent as much beta-amyloid to eliminate brain cells in a lab dish.”

“A drug that was developed to treat depression but too ineffective to win approval seems to act on this same pathway, Wang says. The drug, idazoxan, which has also been studied in schizophrenia, has already passed through initial clinical testing and been shown to be safe, she adds.
Wang is now looking to promote larger clinical trials of idazoxan to see if it can be used to effectively treat early-stage Alzheimer’s. She hopes that eventually, a drug can be developed that will act on this Alzheimer’s-related pathway in a more targeted way to minimize side effects and maximize effectiveness.”
Hopefully his disease won’t exist by the time I have to worry about it.
SR Ballard
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