Navigation Links
Study explains why Alzheimer's drug is both safe and effective
Date:8/18/2010

Alzheimer's disease destroys brain cells and their connections (called synapses), causing memory loss and other cognitive problems that disrupt work, hobbies and daily life. Symptoms can be alleviated, in part, by the drug memantine (marketed in the United States as Namenda), which is currently FDA-approved to treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease and was, in part, developed by Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Del E. Web Center for Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham). Memantine improves symptoms by blocking abnormal activity of glutamate, a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells. In a study appearing August 18 in The Journal of Neuroscience, a team of investigators at Sanford-Burnham led by Dr. Lipton unravel exactly how memantine helps Alzheimer's patients without causing serious side effects.

"While memantine is partially effective in treating Alzheimer's disease, one of its major advantages is how safe and well-tolerated it is clinically," said Dr. Lipton

In treating any disease, one of the most difficult parts of designing a new drug is finding ways to maximize its beneficial effect while minimizing harmful side effects. Memantine is a particularly safe treatment for Alzheimer's disease because it dampens excessive glutamate signaling that occurs away from synapses without blocking glutamate activity at the synapses. This is important because interfering with synaptic glutamate signaling would disrupt normal brain activity.

"We showed definitively for the first time that memantine, the drug our group developed for Alzheimer's disease, works in a unique way," Dr. Lipton said. "It inhibits a protein that binds glutamate called the NMDA receptor, but predominantly blocks NMDA receptors that signal molecularly to cause neuronal injury and death. It spares the synaptic receptors that mediate normal communication between nerve cells in the brain."

This finding helps explain why the drug is so well tolerated by Alzheimer's patients and might provide hints for the development of future therapies targeting the NMDA receptor and similar cellular machinery in other diseases.

As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, currently the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.


'/>"/>

Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@sanfordburnham.org
858-795-5236
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 ... 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... recognition analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today ... Sheridan as director of public safety business development. ... of diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on ... Vigilant. In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Today, the South Davis ... Advanced Biological Nutrient Recovery (ABNRâ„¢) technology at its 4,000,000 gallon per day South ... to sustainably meet current and future nutrient discharge regulations. The ABNR platform, which ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Ebola resurfaces in the Democratic Republic of Congo ... reported, a new analysis of the Ebola gene polymerase Replikin ... 2014 and 2017 outbreaks of the disease.  ... the 2014 outbreak. An analysis of the latest data showed ... which again precedes the current outbreak in the DRC. Sequence ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Genedata, a leading provider of advanced software ... a strong presence at Bio-IT World Conference & Expo 2017 in Boston, MA. ... all attendees to view posters on the entire range of Genedata software ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Energetiq Technology, ... announced a facility expansion to accommodate its rapid growth. , The renovations at ... and renovation of the existing areas. The expansion includes, a state-of-the-art engineering facility, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: