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Hormone shows promise in reversing Alzheimer’s disease and stroke
Date:11/12/2008

t after the guard and essentially told him to go on break for a while so PACAP27 could get into the brain," Banks says.

They used mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and stroke to test what would happen if PACAP27 could get into the brain.

"We reversed the symptoms of the illnesses," Banks says. "The mice that had a version of Alzheimer's disease became smarter and in the stroke model, we reduced the amount of damage caused by the blockage of blood to the brain and improved brain recovery."

Simply turning off the gatekeeper that kept PACAP27 out of the brain allowed enough of the hormone that already is in the body to get inside the brain, where it effectively treated strokes. However, the mice that had a version of Alzheimer's disease needed both an extra dose of PACAP27 and the antisense that turned off the gatekeeper to improve learning.

"These findings are significant for three reasons. We have found a therapy that reverses symptoms of Alzheimers's disease and stroke in a mouse model. We have isolated the particular roadblock that keeps the treatment from getting into the brain. And we have found a way to finesse that obstacle so the medicine can get into the brain to do its work," Banks says. "This could have implications in treating many diseases of the central nervous system."

The findings were published in the Nov. 12 early online issue of the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.


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Contact: Nancy Solomon
solomonn@slu.edu
314-977-8017
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

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