Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Optimism for Alzheimer’s Treatment as New Drug Stops Brain Cell Breakdown in Mice

News Brief by Caroline Russell-Troutman:

A drug recently discovered by UK scientists has been shown to prevent the breakdown of brain cells in mice with brain degenerative disease, which could provide insight into effective treatment for similar diseases in humans. Brain cell degeneration is characteristic of diseases like Alzheimer’s and causes those afflicted to grow increasingly incapable of performing daily tasks. The mice used in this study had a similar disease. While mice given no drugs continued to show evidence of brain cell degeneration, mice treated with the drug appeared normal and experienced no apparent brain cell damage. Despite this success, the drug caused some negative side effects in the mice such as severe weight loss and increased blood sugar, and is thus still in development. Though scientists note that the drug is not yet suitable for human use, the research team leader was optimistic that the results of these trials could eventually be replicated in other mammals. Experts further praised the study as an important step in developing effective treatment for Alzheimer’s.

Reference: Jaslow, Ryan. "Drug Stops Brain Degeneration like That Seen in Alzheimer's, but Only in Mice." CBS News. CBS Interactive, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

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