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New amyloid-reducing compound could be a preventive measure against Alzheimer's
Date:6/2/2014

Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have identified a compound, called 2-PMAP, in animal studies that reduced by more than half levels of amyloid proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers hope that someday a treatment based on the molecule could be used to ward off the neurodegenerative disease since it may be safe enough to be taken daily over many years.

"What we want in an Alzheimer's preventive is a drug that modestly lowers amyloid beta and is also safe for long term use," says Martin J. Sadowski, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology, psychiatry, and biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, who led the research to be published online June 3 in the journal Annals of Neurology. "Statin drugs that lower cholesterol appear to have those properties and have made a big impact in preventing coronary artery disease. That's essentially what many of us envision for the future of Alzheimer's medicine."

The 2-PMAP molecule that Dr. Sadowski's team identified is non-toxic in mice, gets easily into the brain, and lowers the production of amyloid beta and associated amyloid deposits.

The prime target for Alzheimer's prevention is amyloid beta. Decades before dementia begins, this small protein accumulates in clumps in the brain. Modestly lowering the production of amyloid beta in late middle age, and thus removing some of the burden from the brain's natural clearance mechanisms, is believed to be a good prevention strategy. Researchers two years ago reported that something like this happens naturally in about 0.5 percent of Icelanders, due to a mutation they carry that approximately halves amyloid beta production throughout life. These fortunate people show a slower cognitive decline in old age, live longer, and almost never get Alzheimer's.

Prevention of Alzheimer's dementia is now considered more feasible than stopping it after it has begun, when brain damage is already severe.
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Contact: David March
david.march@nyumc.org
212-404-3528
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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