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Roskamp Institute Identifies New Class of Drugs to Treat Alzheimer's Disease
Date:12/16/2008

Research Uncovers New Link Between Inflammation & Alzheimer's Disease

SARASOTA, Fla., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Roskamp Institute today announced that its researchers have uncovered a new link between inflammation and Alzheimer's disease and have identified a potential target for developing novel therapeutics for intervention in this disease. The study, led by Roskamp Institute's Pancham Bakshi, Ph.D., is detailed in the American Chemical Society's Chemical Biology Journal, a leading online publisher of peer-reviewed research.

It has long been known that Alzheimer's disease is accompanied by inflammation, which both exacerbates and is caused by the underlying disease. In addition, it has long been suggested that abnormal deposits of a small protein, known as amyloid, which accumulate in the brain of those afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, also trigger an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is thought to be detrimental to nerve cells, eventually causing their destruction.

Recent research at the Roskamp Institute has revealed that inflammation can lead to the production of more amyloid, and researchers have found that a specific receptor on the nerve cell surface, known as CXCR2, is an interface between inflammation and new amyloid production. As specific inflammatory molecules contact CXCR2, a signal is generated which results in increased amyloid production. The presence of the abnormally occurring amyloid; therefore, contributes to its own reproduction through the inflammatory response it triggers.

"I found that by genetically knocking out CXCR2, we can reduce the amount of amyloid in various laboratory models and, by using drugs that specifically block the CXCR2 receptor, we are able to show that a decrease in production of amyloid can be achieved," said Dr. Bakshi. "This study, which for the first time shows the early role of inflammation in AD,
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SOURCE The Roskamp Institute
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