Navigation Links
Alzheimer's drugs may have adverse side effects
Date:2/18/2012

CHICAGO --- Alzheimer's disease drugs now being tested in clinical trials may have potentially adverse side effects, according to new Northwestern Medicine research. A study with mice suggests the drugs could act like a bad electrician, causing neurons to be miswired and interfering with their ability to send messages to the brain.

The findings, from the scientist whose original research led to the drug development, are published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration and will be presented Saturday, Feb. 18, at the 2012 annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

"Let's proceed with caution," said Robert Vassar, professor of cell and molecular biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We have to keep our eyes open for potential side effects of these drugs." Ironically, he says, the drugs could impair memory.

The drugs are designed to inhibit BACE1, the enzyme Vassar originally discovered that promotes the development of the clumps of plaque that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's. BACE1 acts as a molecular scissors, cutting up and releasing proteins that form the plaques. Thus, drug developers believed blocking the enzyme might slow the disease.

But in Vassar's new study, he found BACE1 also has a critical role as the brain's electrician. In that role, the enzyme maps out the location of axons, the wires that connect neurons to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. This mapping is called axonal guidance.

Working with mice from which BACE1 was genetically removed, Vassar discovered the animals' olfactory system used for the sense of smell -- was incorrectly wired. The axons of the olfactory neurons were not wired properly to the olfactory bulb of the brain. The findings show the key role of BACE1 in axonal guidance.

"It's like a badly wired house," Vassar said. "If the electrician doesn't get the wiring pattern correct, your lights won't turn on and the outlets won't work."

The olfactory system is a good model for axonal guidance or wiring. If the axons aren't being properly connected in the olfactory system, Vassar said, the problem likely exists elsewhere in the brain and nervous system. The hippocampus could be particularly vulnerable to BACE1 blockers, he noted, because its population of neurons is continually being reborn, which may play a role in forming new memories. The neurons need to grow new axons that in turn must connect them with new targets. Axonal guidance is a continuous need.

"It's not all bad news," Vassar noted. "These BACE1 blockers might be useful at a specific dose that will reduce the amyloid plaques but not high enough to interfere with the wiring. Understanding the normal function of BACE1 may help us avoid potential drug side effects."


'/>"/>
Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The private sale of drugs in public hospitals
2. Social Anxiety and Panic - Alternative Treatment to Drugs and Therapy
3. Adapting to clogged airways makes common pathogen resist powerful drugs
4. Diabetes Drugs Avandia, Actos Tied to Fractures in Women
5. Drugs That Shift Cells Energy Find New Purpose
6. FDA Tightens Controls on Anemia Drugs
7. FDA Issues Warning on Key Asthma Drugs
8. Two Tulsa Pharmacies Penalized for Missing Prescription Drugs
9. Tests to Measure Safety of Anti-Clotting Drugs of Limited Value
10. Notch-blocking drugs kill brain cancer stem cells, yet multiple therapies may be needed
11. Scans Might Monitor Success of Alzheimers Drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... While a significant number of women and men with eating disorders report a ... that best predicts the development of an eating disorder. , At the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... excited to share this important news! AHCC and the Home Health and Hospice ... Clinic, CMS' designee for official ICD coding guidance and clarifications, to address concerns ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... The schedule is ... this country. The AutismOne 2016 Conference, which is being held May 25-29 at the ... hear elsewhere about helpful interventions and causes of chronic illness in children. , Very ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 ... ... its new MyDecision™ program. MyDecision™ empowers employers and organizations with the tools and ... , MyDecision™ combines three elements to cut the cost of providing employee healthcare ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... With the FCPX LUT: Summer ... grades to their footage. A LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical ... color indicated by the table. By manipulating each pixel, LUT's can change each color ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016   HighPoint Solutions today ... (NRG),s pharmacovigilance technology services division.  NRG is a ... an Oracle Argus Specialized partner, providing drug safety ... companies. --> --> ... sciences capabilities and provides a global scale and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... part of a major growth and expansion initiative, Dune Medical ... Chmura as President of Dune Inc., its U.S. division. ... experience in the medical device space will play a large ... --> --> In her new ... and operational functions in the U.S. She is tasked with ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb. 8, 2016 Velano Vascular, a medical ... hospitalized patients and their practitioners, announced today that the ... Velano will use the proceeds from this financing, an ... in January 2015, to support the development and commercialization ... pediatric populations. Philadelphia , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: