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A peptide to protect brain function
Date:6/13/2013

ommunications, the researchers administered the chemical element manganese to all animal models and tracked its movement through the brain using an MRI. In the mice treated with NAP, researchers observed that the manganese was able to travel through the brain normally the microtubule system had been protected from damage or restored to normal use. Those mice that did not receive the peptide experienced the usual breakdown or continued dysfunction of the microtubule system.

These findings were corroborated by a subsequent study conducted in the UK, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, which found that NAP was able to ameliorate damage in fruit fly models of microtubule deficiency, repairing nerve cell dysfunction.

Slowing down cognitive dysfunction

NAP appears to have widespread potential in terms of neuroprotection, says Prof. Gozes, who was recently awarded the Meitner-Humblodt Research Award for her lifelong contribution to the field of brain sciences.

Previous studies on the peptide, conducted through a collaboration between Allon Therapeutics and Ramot, TAU's technology transfer arm, have shown that patients suffering from cognitive dysfunction a precursor to Alzheimer's Disease showed significant improvements in their cognitive scores when treated with NAP. Additional studies have also shown that NAP has a positive impact on rectifying microtubule deficiencies in schizophrenia patients.

Prof. Gozes notes that more research must be conducted to discover how to optimize the use of NAP as a treatment, including which patients can benefit most from the intervention.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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