Can You “Turn Off” Alzheimer’s?
Reprogramming the brain to reverse Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. In fact, 16 million people in the U.S. are expected to have the condition by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. While there are only a few FDA-approved treatments, new research has identified an innovative approach that may enable us to “turn off” the genes that drive Alzheimer’s disease.
A molecule, called M344, has the potential to improve memory and help preserve certain brain functions affected by dementia.
How does this memory-improving molecule work?
“One can think of this as reprogramming the way certain genes behave,” said Claes Wahlestedt, M.D., a behavioral health and therapeutic innovation expert at the University of Miami Health System. “M344 can penetrate the brain and potentially restore multiple deficits found in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers.”
Dr. Wahlestedt and a team of UHealth researchers conducted the new study that made this discovery. They found that M344 can help prevent memory impairment and lead to the significant reversal of cognitive impairments that impact a number of behavioral tasks in brains with both early- and late-onset disease.
“We have also learned that a new drug of this type may only have to be present in the brain for a short time period every day,” says Dr. Wahlestedt. “This would make it possible to reduce potential side effects.”
Based on these new insights, the research team is now working to bring similar treatments from the laboratory into clinical testing.
Want to learn more? Click HERE for the expanded story, written by Richard Westlund, on Inventum.