Treatments modelled on the cancer drug Gleevec could potentially prevent the formation of amyloid plaques - one of the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease according to a new study.
The study was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday 1 September. Researchers at the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience in the U.S. tested the drug on mice and found that Gleevec has the ability to attach itself to a protein (GSAP). GSAP promotes the production of plaques in the brain and is therefore a potential target for anti-amyloid treatments.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'This study provides us with exciting new information about a protein that has been found to promote the production of amyloid plaques - a major hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Although the drug highlighted in the report targets this protein and is available and safety tested, this research is in the early stages and we are some way from this being a viable treatment for Alzheimer's.
'A million people will develop dementia in the next ten years yet dementia research receives eight times less investment than cancer research. We must invest now if we are to move forward in the development of effective Alzheimer's treatments.'
Dr Susanne Sorensen
Head of Research