Tags: New | Hope | For | Alzheimer's | Patients

New Hope For Alzheimer's Patients

Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM

Scientists at the University of Toronto have found a key protein that blocks the buildup of the toxic material that causes Alzheimer's disease.

Called TMP21, the protein appears to be a natural inhibitor of Abeta, a neurotoxic protein fragment that accumulates to cause Alzheimer's disease. The promising thing about TMP21 is that it has no other effects, so using it as a drug would not cause side effects.

"This is the starting block of something that could be tremendous," says lead researchers Peter St George-Hyslop, director of the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

"We now have a clean and direct way to inhibit the production of Abeta with potentially no side effects. This could be the blueprint for the development of a drug to treat the disease."

The mechanism by which TMP21 acts as an inhibitor is not yet understood, but it is closely related to three other proteins known to play a role in Alzheimer's.

What makes TMP21 so important is its ability to directly target and block the production of Abeta, thus blocking the development of Alzheimer's disease.

"We are where cancer research was 20 years ago," St. George-Hyslop said. "We are slowly making our way towards the ultimate goal of treating this disease that not only impacts the patient, but is devastating for their friends and family as well.

"I think what we're going to have are medicines that will stop the disease from progressing and I think we will have medicines that will prevent the disease from happening," he said. "This is one of the key elements that will go into that regimen."

The Canadian report appears in the journal, Nature.

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Scientists at the University of Toronto have found a key protein that blocks the buildup of the toxic material that causes Alzheimer's disease. Called TMP21,theprotein appears to be a natural inhibitor of Abeta, a neurotoxic protein fragment that accumulates to cause...
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2006-00-27
Thursday, 27 April 2006 12:00 AM
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