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Novel 'prodrug' alleviates symptoms in Huntington's and Alzheimer's mice
Date:6/2/2011

he chemical messenger glutamate in the brain. Those mice, which normally would have died by the time they were 15 weeks old, lived about 40 percent longer than they otherwise would have, Muchowski said. Their motor coordination improved and they were protected against the loss of the synapses that serve as critical junctions in the neural circuitry.

In a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, JM6 prevented spatial memory deficits, anxiety-related behavior, and the loss of synapses. "JM6 helped the animals remember," Muchowski said.

Alzheimer's mice also become uninhibited and will run right out of the safety of the dark and into open spaces, a risky habit in the real world where predators lurk. "JM6 completely rescued that deficit."

Muchowski says the preservation of synapses they observed is especially key. That's because it's known that memory loss in Alzheimer's correlates more closely with the loss of synapses than with the loss of neurons.

Muchowski said they do plan to test the drug's use in humans through clinical trials. Since JM6 is a new compound, they will have to start with trials designed to test the safety and toxicity of the drug. He expects the first trials could be underway in about two year's time in patients with Huntington's disease.

"One way or another, we will move forward," he said.


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Contact: Elisabeth Lyons
elyons@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

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