Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA

Prospective Antidementia Drug Improves Brain Function

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 15 Oct 2012
A new antidementia drug candidate has been found to be highly active in creating new neuronal connections and improving the cognitive function of rats with Alzheimer’s-like mental impairment.

Researchers at Washington State University (WSU; Pullman, WA, USA) have developed a new compound, named Dihexa, designed to repair damage that has already occurred and thereby recover lost brain function. This is a significant departure from current treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, treatments that only slow the process of cell death or inhibit the neurotransmitter cholinesterase. Also, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) reported that only 3 of 104 possible treatments have been approved in the past 13 years, a 34 to 1 ratio of setbacks to successes.

Joe Harding, professor at the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Jay Wright, professor at the WSU College of Arts and Sciences, and other WSU colleagues, reported their findings on October 10, 2012, in the early online section of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Prof. Harding designed a smaller version of the peptide angiotensin IV. Unlike the original peptide and early candidate molecules based on it, the new analog, Dihexa, was found to be both stable and able to cross the blood-brain barrier. It can also move from the gut into the blood and so could be taken orally in pill form.

The WSU team tested Dihexa on several dozen rats treated with scopolamine. Typically, a rat treated with scopolamine will not learn the location of a submerged platform in a water tank, orienting with cues outside the tank. After receiving Dihexa, all rats learned the task whether receiving the drug orally, by injection, or directly into the brain. Similar results were observed where a smaller group of old rats performed like young rats after treatment; however, while these results were statistically valid, studies with larger test groups will be needed to check the finding.

The "gold standard” compound for creating neuronal connections is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In bench assays using living nerve cells to monitor new neuronal connections, Dihexa was seven orders of magnitude more powerful than BDNF, which itself has yet to be effectively developed for therapeutic use. "We quickly found out that this molecule was [very highly] active,” said Prof. Harding. These results further suggest that Dihexa or molecules like it may also have applications for other neurodegenerative diseases or brain traumas where neuronal connections are lost. Development of Dihexa for human use will begin after safety testing and US Food and Drug Administration approval is obtained for clinical trials.

Related Links:

Washington State University




Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: In mice, mitochondria (green) in healthy (left) and Mfn1-deficient heart muscle cells (center) are organized in a linear arrangement, but the organelles are enlarged and disorganized in Mfn2-deficient cells (right) (Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Press).

Cell Biologists Find That Certain Mitochondrial Diseases Stem from Coenzyme Q10 Depletion

A team of German cell biologists has linked the development of certain mitochondrial-linked diseases to depletion of the organelles' pool of coenzyme Q10 brought about by mutation in the MFN2 gene, which... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Possible New Target Found for Treating Brain Inflammation

Scientists have identified an enzyme that produces a class of inflammatory lipid molecules in the brain. Abnormally high levels of these molecules appear to cause a rare inherited eurodegenerative disorder, and that disorder now may be treatable if researchers can develop suitable drug candidates that suppress this enzyme.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: The FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS Gantry microscope (Photo courtesy of Olympus).

New Multiphoton Laser Scanning Microscope Configurations Expand Research Potential

Two new configurations of a state-of-the-art multiphoton laser scanning microscope extend the usefulness of the instrument for examining rapidly occurring biological events and for obtaining images from... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.