Navigation Links
Epilepsy drug shows potential for Alzheimer's treatment
Date:12/8/2008

A drug commonly used to treat epilepsy could help clear the plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at the University of Leeds. The plaques are known to lead to the progressive death of nerve cells in the brain linked to many forms of dementia.

Sodium valproate - which is marketed as the anti-seizure drug Epilim - has been shown by scientists at the University of Leeds to reactivate the body's own defences against a small protein called amyloid beta peptide, which is the main component of the brain plaques characteristic in Alzheimer's. Their work was funded by the Medical Research Council.

"The fact that we've been able to show that a well-established, safe and relatively inexpensive drug could help treat Alzheimer's is an extremely exciting development," says lead researcher Professor Tony Turner from the University's Faculty of Biological Sciences. "We hope colleagues will be able to progress this research with clinical trials in the near future."

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and has no cure. In the UK today there a half a million people living with Alzheimer's and this is likely to double within a generation unless new treatments are found.

Sodium valproate has been used for many years to suppress epileptic seizures and the many sufferers of epilepsy have been taking the drug for decades with few side effects.

The development of Alzheimer's is widely believed to be caused by the gradual accumulation in the brain of amyloid-beta peptide which is toxic to nerve cells. This is thought to be caused by a key enzyme called neprilysin or NEP gradually switching off in later life. One of NEP's roles is to clear the toxic peptide from the brain, and plaques begin to form as it gradually switches off, leading to the death of the brain's nerve cells.

The research team examined changes in chromatin the 'packaging' that genes are contained within - and surmised that these changes might be involved in switching off NEP. The team found clear differences (acetylation) in key proteins within the chromatin when they compared normal nerve cells against those that failed to produce NEP.

"From there it was relatively simple to stimulate the expression of NEP with sodium valproate, which was seen to prevent the acetylation," says Professor Turner. "We were elated when we saw the results."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. International team discovers gene associated with epilepsy
2. Drops in blood oxygen levels may be key to sudden death in some epilepsy patients
3. Rare genetic disorder gives clues to autism, epilepsy, mental retardation
4. Brain study may lead to improved epilepsy treatments
5. Early treatment stops epilepsy in its tracks
6. Vitamin E shows possible promise in easing chronic inflammation
7. Synthetic biology: Is ethics a showstopper?
8. Study on wildlife corridors shows how they work over time
9. Cell movements totally modular, Stanford study shows
10. Feed a cold, feed a fever: Research shows calorie cut makes it harder to fight flu
11. Nature Medicine study shows Peregrines bavituximab can cure lethal virus infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... , April 6, 2017 Forecasts ... ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government ... Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, ... Other) Are you looking for a definitive ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data captured ... engineering platform, detected a statistically significant association ... prior to treatment and objective response of ... potential to predict whether cancer patients will ... treatment, as well as to improve both pre-infusion ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017 The report ... (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by ... 2022. The base year considered for the study is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... largest group of funded early-stage tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her ... joining the ic@3401 community is Cooley, an international law firm with decades of ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... One ... about to be eliminated, said Lyle Probst, President, CEO and Founder of ... different than other pathogen detection solutions, Probst said, “Sample preparation takes place inside ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Molecular Devices, LLC, a leader in ... launch the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ in North America. This novel system utilizes ... visual documentation of monoclonality for use in cell line development. , Clonal ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... Transportable biomass ... briquettes, and torrefied wood is the topic of a September 27 webinar ... potential economic viability of transportable biomass conversion facilities for producing biochar, briquettes, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: