Navigation Links
New target for Alzheimer's disease identified
Date:5/7/2008

SAN FRANCISCO, CA May 7, 2008 ---Alzheimers disease (AD) is an incurable disease that is increasing in prevalence and will increase even more rapidly as the Baby Boom generation enters the age of highest risk. The available AD drugs are only partially effective in some patients. New strategies are urgently needed.

In a new study, published in todays Journal of Neuroscience, researchers in the laboratory of Lennart Mucke, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND), have determined in mouse models that modulating the activity of enkephalin peptides in the brain might reduce the cognitive deficits seen in Alzheimers disease.

Enkephalins are part of the endogenous opioid system, which modulates learning and memory and other brain functions. They are produced by several different cell types in the brain, particularly in areas affected by AD. Enkephalins are derived by enzymatic cleavage from a precursor protein, preproenkephalin, and stored in vesicles. Upon stimulation, enkephalins are released with neurotransmitters, such as glutamate.

The enkephalin pathway is an intriguing candidate for us because it is involved in many functions that are affected by Alzheimers and other neurodegenerative diseases, said Dr. Mucke. We were not sure, though, whether it contributed causally to the disease or acts as a compensatory mechanism.

To better understand the activities of the enkephalins in AD, the Mucke team examined their functions in a transgenic mouse model of AD. These mice express two proteins associated with ADhuman amyloid precursor protein (hAPP) and its cleavage product, A peptidesin neurons and exhibit several characteristics of AD.

The team found increased levels of preproenkephalin mRNA and of enkephalin in brain regions important for memory that are affected in early stages of AD.

When they genetically manipulated the mice to make them more or less susceptible to neuronal damage, the scientists found that the enkephalin levels were also affected. Furthermore, as levels of the enkephalins increased, the ability of mice to complete behavioral tests declined. Compounds that blocked opioid receptors, through which enkaphalins exert their effects, reduced cognitive deficits. AD patients also showed increased levels of enkephalins in brain regions affected by the disease.

Our results indicate that the high levels of enkephalins may contribute to cognitive impairments in hAPP mice and maybe also in AD patients, said Dr. Mucke. Although these are early results, they are encouraging and may lead the way to a new AD therapy based on limiting enkephalin production or signaling.


'/>"/>

Contact: Valerie Tucker
vtucker@gladstone.ucsf.edu
415-734-2019
Gladstone Institutes
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Symposium Targets Critical Manufacturing Topics for Emerging Growth Companies
2. New Targets Found That Stop Tumor Growth
3. Analysis of alcoholics brains suggests treatment target
4. Study raises questions about prostate cancer therapies targeting IGF-1
5. Monoclonal antibody Hb3: A marker for colon cancer progression or as a therapeutic target?
6. New Independent Research Firm Targets Firms with Little or No Analyst Following
7. New lymphoma therapies targets diverse and difficult cancer
8. Researchers identify new cell targets for preventing growth of breast and other tumors
9. Penn researchers find targeted therapy combination overcomes treatment resistance in liver cancer
10. China Medical Technologies to Announce 4QFY2007 Financial Results, Declare Annual Cash Dividend and Provide FY2008 Annual Targets on June 12, 2008
11. Mayo Clinic identifies treatment target for liver cancer recurrence and survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation ... scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Award of Excellence to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s ... 4 – 8. , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at ... for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) ... Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2017 AVACEN ... recognized the company with their  2017 New Product Innovation Award ... based on extensive primary and secondary medical device market research ... Medical, through its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the ... unique approach to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical ... innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced that ... market opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will ... and business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To ... 253-336-8738 (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ... on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced ... joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 ... centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help ... the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: