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Drug Rescues Memory Lost To Alzheimer's Disease

Wed, 07/15/2009 - 8:52am

(ScienceDaily) — A drug similar to one used in clinical trials for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis has been found to rescue memory in mice exhibiting Alzheimer's symptoms. The discovery by UC Irvine scientists offers hope that a new treatment may be on the horizon for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's, the leading cause of elderly dementia afflicting more than 5 million people in the U.S. and for which no cure exists.

The drug, called PMX205, prevented inflamed immune cells from gathering in brain regions with Alzheimer's lesions called amyloid plaques. Cell inflammation in these areas accelerates neuron damage, exacerbating the disease.

"We used a multidisciplinary approach combining an understanding of immunology and neurobiology to uncover a completely different target than other therapies," said Andrea Tenner, lead author of the study that led to the findings and a molecular biology & biochemistry professor at UCI.

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