Navigation Links
Alzheimer's disease drug treats traumatic brain injury, report GUMC researchers

Vienna, Austria The destructive cellular pathways activated in Alzheimer's disease are also triggered following traumatic brain injury, say researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). They say this finding suggests that novel therapy might successfully target both conditions.

In an oral presentation at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, the scientists will show that deactivating these pathways in part by using a gamma secretase inhibitor - a class of Alzheimer's disease drugs currently being tested - reduced loss of neurons in animal models of traumatic brain injury and protected the animals against motor and cognitive deficits.

"The goal for both diseases is to prevent neuronal cell death, and this study suggests that one therapy could possibly work for both," says the study's lead author, neuroscientist Mark Burns, PhD, an assistant professor at GUMC.

Both disorders are associated with build-up of beta amyloid, a toxic brain peptide. This substance is commonly found in the brains of elderly patients who died from Alzheimer's disease, but has also been found in a third of traumatic brain injury victims, some of whom are children, Burns says. It is also known that people who experience such a brain injury have a 400 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Burns says that buildup of beta amyloid occurs in a second wave of damage that follows immediate "necrotic" death of nerve cells after traumatic brain injury. This secondary injury can last months, if not years, resulting in large holes within brain tissue.

Amyloid peptides are produced when a long brain protein known as the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cut in two by the enzyme beta secretase, and then cut once again by a second enzyme known as gamma secretase. Agents that inhibit the activity of gamma secretase are now being studied as treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

In this study, researchers used mice that were either treated with DAPT, an experimental gamma secretase inhibitor, or mice which were "BACE knock-outs" so called because they were genetically altered in such a way that they could not produce beta secretase. In unaltered and untreated "normal" mice, brain injury resulted in a rapid accumulation of beta amyloid, along with cognitive and motor deficits. But DAPT and BACE knock-out mice had brain lesions that were as much as 70 percent smaller than control animals and they experienced minimal impairment.

The findings further cement the connection between Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury, Burns says, and show that "modulation of beta and gamma secretase may provide novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of traumatic brain injury."


Contact: Karen Mallet
Georgetown University Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Paradigm shift in Alzheimerss research: new treatments
2. Results from trials of DHA in Alzheimers disease and age-related cognitive decline
3. Toward an explanation for Crohns disease?
4. Work in mice will contribute to the study of hereditary diseases that lead to blindness
5. Faster, more cost-effective DNA test for crime scenes, disease diagnosis
6. UTSA infectious disease researchers advancing vaccine against Valley fever
7. Research network wins approximately £5.7 million to target human and animal diseases in Africa
8. U of M study finds new insight on therapy for a devastating parasitic disease
9. NIH expands Human Microbiome Project; funds sequencing centers and disease projects
10. Study shows Chronix technology using serum DNA can identify early presence of disease
11. Targeting helpers of heat shock proteins could help treat cancer, cardiovascular disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 ... able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... learn how iMedNet has been able to deliver ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today announced an ... its DNA library preparation products, including the ThruPLEX ... Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been optimized for ... libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of cell-free circulating ... in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins Scientific is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Human Longevity, ... the company has acquired Cypher Genomics, Inc., a leading ... human genomic interpretation software solutions. The San ... join HLI including Cypher CEO and Co-founder, Ashley Van ... HLI,s Pediatric Business.  Financial details of the deal were ...
(Date:11/30/2015)...  Aytu BioScience, Inc. (OTCQB: AYTU), a commercial-stage specialty ... present at two upcoming investor conferences. Aytu is scheduled ... conference, to be held December 3, 2015, and at ... December 2 nd & 3 rd , 2015 ... live via webcast. Josh Disbrow , Chief ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Northwest Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: NWBO ) ("NW ... therapies for solid tumor cancers, announced today that the ... and the Company welcomes Neil Woodford,s call ... anonymous internet report on NW Bio.  The Company,s Board ... Powers stated, "We agree with Mr. Woodford that, ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin Bio Corp, a Korean Biotech venture ... , Bird Free, an oil-based, gel formula ... modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling safe, effective avian control without toxic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: