Updated: Jul 21
Scientists have discoverd a gene that can naturally suppress the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
They also have discovered a new rapid drug screening system for treatment that would potentially delay or prevent disease .The main challenge till now faced in the clinical trials is that the subjects enrolled must have all the symptoms,and so it is too late for the treatments to have the significant effects.The only current way to test is by identifying the participants at higher risk.
The risk group includes people with Down's syndrome(DS) who has a 70%chance of developing Alzheimer's disease.The study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry ,the researchers collected hair cells from people with DS and reprogrammed them to stem cells then redirected to brain cells in a dish.These brain cells had the hallmark trio of signs ie; Amyloid plaque -like lesions,Progressive neuronal death and abnormal accumulations of "tau" protein.The lead researcher has commented that "This work represents remarkable achievement ,as its the first cell based system which has full trio based pathologies.
Researchers have also showed that this is an early drug testing platform.2 different drugs that could inhibhit the b-amyloid production ,tested them on these brain cells, and in six weeks showed that they prevented onset of Alzheimer's pathology.Although these drugs failed in the clinical trials scientists showed a proof-of- principle.Team also found a proof of naturally functioning suppressor gene(BACE-2)
Professor Dean Nizetic explained "Although its still early days ,the system raises a theoretical possibility for further development as a tool to predict who might develop Alzheimer's.The idea would be to catch the people at higher risk of early disease in a cell -based system ,before it starts in a person and prevent the progression.
The discoveries in are based on the contributions that have been made by the people with Down's syndrome who have irreluctuntly accepted to participate in the studies the results of which could be beneficial in the near future.