Navigation Links
New target for medicine to combat Alzheimer's: VIB scientists confirm protein's key role
Date:2/12/2009

Alzheimer's disease

Two thirds of all patients with dementia suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Estimates indicate that by 2010 our country will have more than 150,000 Alzheimer's patients. Alzheimer's is a disease that gradually destroys brain cells, with the result that the mental capacity of patients with Alzheimer's gradually declines. At first, memory begins to fail, but the patient's cognitive capabilities also deteriorate as the disease progresses. Today, this disease cannot yet be cured. Current medicines for Alzheimer's patients sustain the memory functions for a short time, but they are unable to stop the brain cells from dying off. At best, they are able to limit the loss of memory during the early phases of the disease.

The β-amyloid cascade

The brains of Alzheimer's patients typically show the presence of amyloid plaques, which are abnormal accumulations of a protein (β-amyloid) between the neurons. The sticky β-amyloid develops when the precursor protein (amyloid precursor protein or APP) is cut into pieces incorrectly.

GPR3: target for new medicine

Several years ago, Bart De Strooper and other researchers elucidated the way in which these plaques originate and discovered that secretases play a large role in this process. Now, under the direction of Bart De Strooper, and in collaboration with researchers from the biotech company Galapagos, Amantha Thathiah and her colleagues have investigated whether additional substances are also involved in the development of the plaques. Which is apparently the case: Galapagos has identified the GPR3 protein as a new player. The VIB researchers have been able to show − in vitro (in cells isolated and studied in the laboratory) as well as in vivo (in living animals − mice, in this instance) − that blocking GPR3 leads to reduction of the plaques.

Importance of this research

The GPR3 protein is an important target molecule for the eventual development of a new medicine against Alzheimer's disease. The majority of all of the medicines that are available in pharmacies − regardless of the disease that they work against − act on proteins of a specific type. GPR3 is one of these − which, at this time, cannot be said for any other protein implicated in Alzheimer's.

Further research and development of this medicine will be carried out by the Flemish biotechnology company Galapagos. It is possible that 'the cure for Alzheimer's' will never be able to restore a patient's memory − but, hopefully, the disorder can be arrested, saving as many brain cells as possible.


'/>"/>

Contact: Pieter Van Dooren
info@vib.be
329-244-6611
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Nicotinic receptors may be important targets for treatment of multiple addictions
2. New target for anti-flu drug development
3. Central targets may hinder wider waste management objectives
4. St. Jude finds factors that accelerate resistance to targeted therapy in lymphoblastic leukemia
5. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
6. Targeting nerve growth factor may cure liver cancer
7. Study by Pittsburgh researchers identifies possible vaccine target for chlamydia
8. Linchpin gene may be useful target for new breast cancer therapies
9. Gene-targeting pioneer Mario Capecchi shares 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine
10. Study reveals a key to blood vessel growth and possible drug target
11. Microarray sequence capture speeds large-scale resequencing of targeted genomic regions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Unique technology combines v ... security   Xura, Inc. ... digital communications services, today announced it is working alongside ... customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ... within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), a leading ... position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ownership and ... been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been appointed CEO/President ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Founder of the Fitzmaurice ... surgery and surgery of the hand by the National Board of Physicians and ... above and beyond in his pursuit of providing the most comprehensive, effective treatment ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company ... granted the company’s orphan drug designation request covering BHV-4157 for the treatment of ... the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia is a rare, debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South ... week by the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. ... years, and they are down 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years ...
Breaking Biology Technology: