Effect of cyclooxygenase activity on Amyloid

John Oates, MD Vanderbilt Univ. Medical Center

Project Details

This study focuses on the effects of an enzyme, cyclo-oxygenase, on amyloid beta, the protein fragment that aggregates into plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The process by which amyloid beta accumulates and clumps together to create plaques is not well understood, but scientists think it is central to the development of Alzheimer's disease. The study may shed light on how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen are thought to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. NSAIDs are known to inhibit the actions of cyclo-oxygenases, and the scientists believe that if they can succeed in creating a more powerful compound to block cyclo-oxygenase activity, it could lead to a drug that would actually halt the disease. Current Alzheimer's drugs treat the symptoms, but no drug has been found yet to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.