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In Preventing Alzheimer's, Mutation May Aid Drug Quest
Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:42 AM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: New York Times) - A study of a rare gene mutation that protects people against Alzheimer's disease provides the strongest evidence yet that excessive levels of a normal brain substance, beta amyloid, are a driving force in the disease - bolstering hopes that anti-amyloid drugs already under development might alter the disease's course or even prevent it.

So far, the drugs have not succeeded. But independent scientists said the study suggested that the drug companies' bets on anti-amyloid treatments could pay off. Dr. Samuel Gandy of the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health called the finding the most significant in the field in two decades, since researchers first reported a mutation that leads to the disease.


The protective mutation, whose discovery was reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, is highly uncommon - it is not the reason most people do not develop Alzheimer's. But what intrigues researchers is how it protects the brain.

Dr. Richard Mohs at Eli Lilly said the company was "very encouraged by these study results." They show, he said, that despite an initial failure, the strategy of focusing on drugs to reduce beta amyloid levels is "a logical path for the development of effective therapies that may slow disease progression."


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