Navigation Links
Aiming at Multiple Alzheimer's Proteins May be Key to Success
Date:10/21/2008

CLARKSBURG, Md., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- An independent team of scientists is leading Alzheimer's disease research in a new, promising direction. Through a $1 million grant they received last year from Alzheimer's Disease Research, a program of the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), Donald F. Weaver, M.D., Ph.D. and his colleagues at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada are leading a multi-site, multidisciplinary international effort to design a drug that might one day prevent the onset of this devastating disease.

In Alzheimer's disease, an accumulation of beta amyloid protein "plaques" around the brain's nerve cells and tau protein "tangles" within these cells is connected to a breakdown in cell communication and eventual cell death. Evidence suggests that both beta amyloid and tau play a role, but the research community has been split on the relative effect of these two proteins on the disease process. Further, many scientists are beginning to believe that future Alzheimer's therapies will involve multiple drugs targeted at different aspects of the disease, including both of these proteins. They theorize that "misfolding" of each protein changes its shape and natural function, and contributes profoundly to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Weaver and his colleagues from Canada, the U.S., and Belgium agree that the key to successful treatment may be to halt the build-up of both beta amyloid and tau, before they begin to affect the brain's nerve cells. "Alzheimer's disease is a complex ailment and may have overlapping causes," explains Dr. Weaver. "Disrupting beta amyloid misfolding may work for some people, but not others. The same is probably true for tau. If we could control both proteins in the same patient, we might get a synergistic benefit." Rather than seeking multiple drugs to accomplish this task, Dr. Weaver's team is looking for single molecules that will bind to both proteins and possibly other Alzheimer's-related proteins before they begin to misfold and start their toxic buildup. "Right now, we're treating the symptoms of the disease -- only slowing cognitive decline and memory loss in patients," says Dr. Weaver. "My colleagues and I are using this grant to design drugs that may one day prevent or even reverse progression of Alzheimer's disease."

The design strategy begins at Dalhousie University where researchers are creating new, unique drug compounds and testing each drug's ability to bind to both proteins and prevent shape changes. To date, Dr. Weaver's laboratory has produced more than 240 variations of the most effective compound. Once identified, these synthesized compounds are sent for further analysis to Edwin De Pauw, Ph.D. and his group at the University of Liege in Belgium. Promising compounds that pass this second step in testing then move on to preliminary safety and efficacy investigations using animal models in the laboratory of Ottavio Arancio, M.D., Ph.D. at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Since accepting the award from AHAF last year, this international team has made impressive progress. These easily reproducible chemical compounds have shown a remarkable ability to prevent misfolding of both proteins in the Dalhousie laboratory. This activity has been confirmed at the University of Liege, and exciting results are reported at Columbia. "Our lead compound is very effective in mice with conditions similar to Alzheimer's. It can be delivered orally, inhibits aggregation of these proteins, protects brain cells from beta amyloid damage, restores normal memory functioning and shows no toxicity at high doses," says Dr. Weaver. According to AHAF's Director of Research Grants, Guy Eakin, Ph.D., "This work is particularly important because Alzheimer's disease patients are often taking several medications for other health conditions. Rather than give them a 'cocktail' of drugs that might produce harmful interactions, Dr. Weaver's research shows it may be possible to limit these concerns by designing a single drug that tackles several factors."

This project has been substantially funded by one of two $1 million "Centennial Awards" from Alzheimer's Disease Research, a program of AHAF. To foster stronger collaboration among researchers, these unique awards were given only to scientists working with interdisciplinary colleagues at multiple institutions.

About AHAF

AHAF is a private, donor-supported non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma by funding the best research worldwide, and to informing the public about these age-related, degenerative diseases.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Dr. Donald Weaver https://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=82467


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Health Assistance Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and Proteolix Initiate Phase 2 Clinical Trial Investigating Carfilzomib for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
2. Millennium Initiates Clinical Trial to EVOLVE the Treatment of Patients with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma
3. Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) Partners with Novartis to Advance Phase II Study of Deacetylase Inhibitor
4. Kosan Opens Registration Program for Lead Hsp90 Inhibitor, Tanespimycin, in Multiple Myeloma
5. Multiple NIH Phase 2 HIV Vaccine Trials Using Vicals Technology Produce Encouraging Results
6. TorreyPines Therapeutics Initiates a Phase I Multiple Dose Clinical Trial of Tezampanel
7. Kosan Receives Completed Special Protocol Assessment for TIME-1 Pivotal Phase 3 Trial of Tanespimycin in Multiple Myeloma
8. TorreyPines Therapeutics Completes Phase I Multiple Dose Clinical Trial of NGX267, a Selective M1 Agonist for the Potential Treatment of Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia
9. Pharmacopeia Announces Positive Results from Phase 1 Multiple Ascending Dose Study of PS433540 (DARA)
10. Phase III Clinical Trial in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Stopped Early Due to Highly Significant Efficacy Advantage of VELCADE(R) (Bortezomib) for Injection Based Therapy Across All Endpoints
11. Velcura Therapeutics, Inc. Reports Positive Pre-IND Meeting With FDA and Plans Early Clinical Trials for New Drug to Treat Multiple Myeloma Bone Disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... , April 29, 2016 ... glyco-biology expertise, today announces the appointment of Dr. ... Dr. Zurlo is an oncologist with many years clinical ... and biotechnology industries. His last role was at Mologen ... of the Executive Board. Previously Dr. Zurlo held various ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... YORK , April 28, 2016  While ... notably complement the company,s valve repair and stent ... move also places Abbott more firmly into patient ... of the fastest growing device areas, with double-digit ... its recent report,  Advanced Remote Patient Monitoring ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Dr. ... und Stephen Schmidt werden Teil ... ein führender Anbieter cloudbasierter Softwarelösungen für den ... neue Führungskräfte zum Team Sicherheit und Pharmakovigilanz ... Erfahrungen mitbringen.  Dies wird die Geschäftseinheit Sicherheit ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:4/29/2016)... Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... distributor of devices and products for the head and neck/ear, nose and throat specialty, ... Safety Device , The KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ is a newly patented safety ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... a growth round of funding led by Eastside Partners, with participation from existing ... rapidly growing customer base and accelerate its technology and product roadmap. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Regenerative Medicine Solutions (RMS) scored ... satisfaction survey, earning them second place for Tampa’s Best Places to Work. They were ... “This is a great accomplishment for our team,” says RMS Human Resources Manager Irene ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... The ... L. Frederick, Dr. Sanaz Ghazal, and Dr. Daniel A. Potter -- are proud of ... for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). In April, SART published the latest verified ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Natren, Inc. recently sent representatives ... Petbiotics ™, as they fondly call them. As animal lovers, they were ... their non-profit organizations. Animal rescues across the nation face huge hurdles rescuing animals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):