Alzheimer's research: US scientists were able to stop and cure Alzheimer's in mice.
In a study with the protein CBP, US researchers from the University of Texas restored the learning ability and memory of mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease. A reason for hope for thousands of patients who suffer from the genetic form of Alzheimer's.
It has long been known in the specialist world that the production of the protein CBP is blocked in a special genetic form of Alzheimer's, which triggers a progressive memory loss. Because CBP is crucial for the synthesis of other proteins such as CREB, which in turn plays a central role in the creation of memories in the brain. The protein CREB is missing in the affected Alzheimer's patients, which causes so-called beta-amyloid proteins to form in the brain and to be deposited in the brain substance. These so-called plaques cause damage to the nerve cells and thus cause the memory disorders typical of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia or impairments in the performance of the brain. By artificially increasing the protein CBP, which is crucial for CREB production, in the brain region of the hippocampus, the researchers led by Antonella Caccamo from the University of Texas at San Antonio were able to reverse this brain degeneration, at least in mice in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease the statement of the US scientists in the context of the publication of their study results in the current issue of the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)".
At the beginning of the study, the mice were in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and were already showing the first signs of dementia typical of Alzheimer's, the US scientists report in the context of their current publication. After the researchers introduced the protein CBP into the hippocampus (learning and memory center) of the mice with the help of virus envelopes as a means of transport, their memory performance improved again to the level of healthy mice, according to the study. In the labyrinth test carried out after the treatment, the mice treated with CBP were able to orient themselves much better than the rodents, who received only a placebo preparation, the researchers further explained. Their sense of orientation roughly corresponded to the healthy mice and they successfully found their way out of the labyrinth. Based on the current study results, the US scientists hope not only to be able to counteract Alzheimer's in the future, but also to enable the treatment of other dementias.
In view of the bleak prognoses given by the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the development of dementia diseases worldwide, numerous scientists have intensified their research so that new, apparently groundbreaking findings are constantly being published. It remains to be seen which of the approaches will prove successful in the end and will really offer help to the patient. However, haste is definitely necessary, because WHO estimates that over 35 million people worldwide already suffer from dementia, and the number is expected to increase to around 115 million people with dementia worldwide by 2050. (fp)
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