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'Prodrug' to treat Alzheimer's, Huntington's?

Posted on 03 June 2011

A 'prodrug' has been developed which may protect against Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease, no doubt bringing hope to many with long term care plans.

The JM6 compound was shown to protect mice from the neurodegenerative impact of the conditions, according to a study published in journal Cell.

Even though the compound does not transgress the blood-brain barrier, it is effective at using a pathway involved in the breakdown of amino acid tryptophan to impact on the conditions.

The 'prodrug' "helped the animals remember", according to Paul Muchowski of the University of California, San Francisco.

He explained that the substance prevented spatial memory deficits, the loss of synapses and anxiety related behaviour.

This follows a breakthrough in Alzheimer's disease genes which could lead to new therapies for the illness, according to a paper published in journal Genome Medicine.

Scientists uncovered the novel location within the MS4A gene cluster associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Posted by Nigel Murphy

 

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