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Rejected drug may protect against toxic substance common to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
Date:8/13/2012

two key proteins responsible for ALS-FTD, a spectrum of diseases that includes both Lou Gehrig's disease and frontotemporal dementia.

"The specificity of latrepirdine protection of yeast cells from alpha-synuclein poisoning was unexpected but highly specific and, we believe, occurs at doses of drug potentially relevant to the clinic," Dr. Petsko said.

"We believe that the U.S. latrepirdine trial failed because of a lack of understanding of how latrepirdine works," said Dr. Sano of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. "Many of the patients in the Russian trial may have had a subtype of Alzheimer's disease that includes excess buildup of alpha-synuclein, making them more responsive to latrepirdine. We know that this occurs by chance in about one-third of Alzheimer's patients. The data indicating that latrepirdine both stimulates alpha-synuclein breakdown and protects cells from alpha-synuclein poisoning are highly intriguing."

Drs. Gandy and Yue are testing whether latrepirdine might be beneficial in treating or preventing disorders associated with high levels of alpha-synuclein such as Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, and REM sleep disorder.


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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
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The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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