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Alzheimer's disease: Cutting off immune response promises new approach to therapy
Date:12/19/2012

trigger production of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Therefore, these mice were no longer able to synthesize the protein complex. As a result, the animals developed only relatively mild symptoms of the disease. Moreover, their brains showed only reduced amounts of the damaging plaques.

"We have stumbled upon a critical factor in the development process of Alzheimer's. Given these findings it appears to be a very promising possibility to block the activity of the inflammasome," comments Heneka. In his view, proper pharmaceuticals might be able to stop a chain reaction that would otherwise result in the inflammation of brain cells. "At present various options are being pursued to act upon the course of the disease," says the neuroscientist. "Our results points to a new possibility. Nevertheless, we are still in the process of doing basic research."

However, the group of scientists in Bonn is already making plans for the future. Eicke Latz's team, which also made significant contributions to the latest study, has already begun to search for active components that could block the NLRP3 inflammasome. "The testing of potential substances in the laboratory would be a next step. We hope to start as early as next year," says Heneka.


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Contact: Dirk Frger
presse@dzne.de
49-228-433-02260
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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