Alzheimer's drugs 'may relieve pain and paralysis'

Posted on 14 April 2011

Medication used to help people with Alzheimer's disease could also be used to relieve pain and paralysis, research has demonstrated, which could come to the aid of many people making long term care plans.

A study, carried out at Johns Hopkins, found that experimental compounds which are being used to build up the brain in Alzheimer's disease, also aid the regeneration of crushed or cut nerve endings.

Researcher Mohamed Farah said: "After an injury, the environment around nerves and their target tissue sometimes degenerates before the nerves can heal, which kills the chances that the nerve will re-grow.

"If we can help nerves re-grow faster, we increase the chances that they can reach their target and become healthy again after injury."

This comes after four new genes were identified that elevate an individual's predisposition to Alzheimer's disease, according to research published in Nature Genetics.

The findings are hoped to improve treatment for patients with the neurodegenerative condition by helping doctors to identify which individuals are the most likely to develop the condition.

Posted by Toby Mynott

 

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