Text Size Normal Text Sizing Button Medium Text Sizing Button Large Text Sizing Button Text Contrast Normal Contrast Button Reverse Contrast ButtonSwitch to Spanish Language Press Room Contact Us Sitemap Sign In Register
Link to Homepage About BrightFocus
BrightFocus
Donate Now Get Involved  
Alzheimer's Disease Research Macular Degeneration Research National Glaucoma Research


Stay Informed: Medical and Research Updates
Connect With Us!
 

 

BrightFocus-Funded Researcher Sheds Light on Why Alzheimer's Medications Rarely Help

July 10, 2013
Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry

BrightFocus Foundation’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research program funded Dr. Zhefeng Guo, who is an assistant professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute and Molecular Biology Institute.

Zhefeng Guo, Ph.D.

Zhefeng Guo, Ph.D.
Photo courtesy of UCLA

Current medications do not treat Alzheimer's or stop it from progressing; they only temporarily lessen symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion.

Current Alzheimer's drugs aim to reduce the amyloid plaques —sticky deposits that build up in the brain—that are a visual trademark of the disease. These plaques are made of long fibers of a protein called amyloid beta, or Aβ. Recent studies, however, suggest that the real culprit behind Alzheimer's may be small Aβ clumps called oligomers that appear in the brain years before plaques develop.

FINDINGS:
In unraveling oligomers' molecular structure, UCLA scientists discovered that Aβ has a vastly different organization in oligomers than in amyloid plaques. Their finding could shed light on why Alzheimer's drugs designed to seek out amyloid plaques have no effect on oligomers.

IMPACT:
The UCLA study suggests that recent experimental Alzheimer's drugs failed in clinical trials because they zero in on plaques and do not work on oligomers. Future studies on oligomers will help speed the development of new drugs specifically aiming at Aβ oligomers, the researchers say.

Adapted from UCLA

Summary in the Journal of Biological Chemistry

 

View all news updates for Alzheimer's disease


Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation, and should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional, and is not intended to constitute medical advice. Although we take efforts to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information on our website reflects the most up-to-date research. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice; all medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy.

Some of the content in this section is adapted from other sources, which are clearly identified within each individual item of information.

Shop for a Cause YouTube Twitter Connect With Us Pinterest Google+