Family & Relationships 'Repurposed' drugs can reduce brain shrinkage linked to Alzheimer's disease

13:05  20 april  2017
13:05  20 april  2017 Source:   Press Association

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Two “ repurposed ” drugs have been shown to reduce the kind of brain shrinkage caused by Alzheimer ’ s and other neurodegenerative The drugs blocked an important pathway linked to brain cell death caused by prion disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease , and dementia.

' Repurposed ' drugs can reduce brain shrinkage linked to alzheimer ' s disease . The drugs blocked an important pathway linked to brain cell death caused by prion disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease , and dementia.

The drugs blocked an important pathway linked to brain cell death caused by prion disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and dementia: General Stock - Education - May 2008 © PA ARCHIVE IMAGES General Stock - Education - May 2008 Two "repurposed" drugs have been shown to reduce the kind of brain shrinkage caused by Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Both medicines, one a licensed antidepressant and the other an anti-cancer compound, restored protein production in the brains of laboratory mice.

The drugs blocked an important pathway linked to brain cell death caused by prion disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and dementia.

Brain damage was prevented in mice with prion disease and animals with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) reclaimed their memory. In both cases, brain shrinkage was reduced.

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Swapping faulty genes for healthy ones could 'STOPS Alzheimer ' s in its tracks'. Professor Mohamed Naguib, of the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, said: “This drug may reduce inflammation in the brain , which is linked to Alzheimer ’ s disease .

The antidepressant trazodone hydrochloride and anti-cancer drug dibenzoylmethane (DBN) were identified after scientists tested 1,040 compounds on laboratory worms and mammalian cells.

Professor Giovanna Mallucci, who led the team from the Medical Research Council's Toxicology Unit in Leicester and Cambridge University, said: "We know that trazodone is safe to use in humans, so a clinical trial is now possible to test whether the protective effects of the drug we see on brain cells in mice with neurodegeneration also applies to people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

"We could know in two to three years whether this approach can slow down disease progression, which would be a very exciting first step in treating these disorders.

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The study was based on the presumption that by controlling the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid, you might be able to reduce the amount of brain shrinkage , which tends to precipitate Alzheimer ' s . High levels of homocysteine are linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer ' s , as well as heart disease

Additional links between obesity and brain shrinkage may be even more fundamental. Protein misfolding and aggregation in Alzheimer ’ s disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(7):1280-93.

"Interestingly, trazodone has been used to treat the symptoms of patients in later stages of dementia, so we know it is safe for this group.

"We now need to find out whether giving the drug to patients at an early stage could help arrest or slow down the disease through its effects on this pathway."

Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "We're excited by the potential of these findings.

"They show that a treatment approach originally discovered in mice with prion disease might also work to prevent the death of brain cells in some forms of dementia.

"This research is at a very early stage and has not yet been tested in people - but as one of the drugs is already available as a treatment for depression, the time taken to get from the lab to the pharmacy could be dramatically reduced.

"The drug blocks a natural defence mechanism in cells which is overactive in the brains of people with frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's, so has the potential to work for several conditions."

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Neuropathologist Dr Payam Rezaie, from the Open University, said: "This is not a cure for neurodegenerative diseases or dementia, it will not reverse the course of illness, and the neuroprotective effects were observed in the majority of, but not in all experimental animals.

"Nevertheless, it could represent a significant step forward in attempting to halt these diseases in their tracks, and as the researchers state, considering its existing licence for use in elderly patients, trazodone in particular would be a potential candidate for clinical trials moving forward."

Related: 20 Foods That Fight Alzheimer's Disease (Provided by Zero Belly)

Fending off Alzheimer's starts with the right foods.: <p>Stay cognitively and physically fit as you age by making these foods a staple in your diet. </p><p>Some say that growing older is a privilege, but for those with a family history of cognitive decline, the prospect of entering your golden years can be a frightening one. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and as life expectancy continues to rise in developed nations around the world, that number is expected to grow, too. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests that the number of adults living with Alzheimer’s in the United States alone could more than triple by the year 2050. </p><p>While it’s often assumed that Alzheimer’s disease is marked solely by cognitive decline, the disease kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Although altering your genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia may not be possible, reducing your risk of developing the disease is. </p><p>Research compiled from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, which studied more than 5,000 senior patients over an 11-year period, reveals that patients who received supplementation with vitamins C and E were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia than those who didn’t. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until old age is on the horizon to start making positive changes in your brain; staying active, snacking on the <a href=42 Best Foods For a Healthier Brain, and checking in with your doctor on a regular basis can help keep you healthy well into later life. And if you’re serious about staying cognitively fit as you age, load your menu with vitamins C and E by making the 20 Foods That Fight Alzheimer’s Disease staples in your meal plan starting today!

" src="/upload/images/real/2017/04/20/fending-off-alzheimers-starts-with-the-right-foods-p-stay-cognitively-and-physically-fit-as-you-age-_818592_.jpg" /> 20 Foods That Fight Alzheimer's Disease

This 68-year-old man climbs a mountain every single day to slow Alzheimer's .
This is a truly inspirational story. We could all do with a dose of his attitudeBut this next story, from 68-year-old Sion Jair, has truly inspired us to keep our brains sharp - firstly because it involves two of our favourite things, walking and nature and, secondly, because it's an incredibly powerful account.

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