A hope for Alzheimer patients

Rita Levi Montalcini and her EBRI

Researchers from the Fondazione EBRI “Rita Levi-Montalcini” just discovered a molecule that rejuvenates the brain and blocks the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

At a very early stage of Alzheimer’s disease the brain stops to produce new neurons. This phenomenon is caused by the accumulation of toxic proteins, called A-beta oligomers. Scientists were able to neutralize this toxic protein thanks to a specific molecule.

The molecule is an antibody, called A13. It favors the birth of new neurons.

The study was conducted on mice. When ill mice was given the antibody A13, their brain recovered 80% of the defects caused by the disease.

The results show firstly that the decrease of new neuron production happens before the typical Alzheimer symptoms. That could lead to a better and earlier diagnosis.

Secondly, they observed that the antibody A13 is effective in neutralizing the A-beta oligomers inside the neurons and therefore interrupting the evolution of the pathology.

Even though the results are very promising, A13 could become a cure after several years of clinical study. This long and bureaucratic process is necessary to protect patients.

We need to wait some more years, but Alzheimer’s disease will become a curabile disease.

Reference:

Scopa et al., “Impaired adult neurogenesis is an early event in Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration, mediated by intracellular Aβ oligomers”, Cell Death and Differentiation, (2019), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41418-019-0409-3

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Candidate in Food Chemistry, Science Teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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