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New Agent Found to Suppress Cognitive Impairment of Alzheimer’s Disease

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 25 Nov 2013
A unique new compound has been shown to prevent cognitive impairment and oxidative stress in animal lab models and may ultimately be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

This new findings on the compound, IRL-1620, were presented at the 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) annual meeting and exposition, the world’s largest pharmaceutical sciences meeting, held in San Antonio (TX, USA), November 10-14, 2013.

Anil Gulati, MD, PhD, FCP, and Seema Briyal, PhD, along with their colleagues from Midwestern University (Downers Grove, IL, USA), administered Amyloid beta (Aβ), a key component of specific deposits located in AD patients’ brains, to normal and diabetic rats on days 1, 7, and 14. The lab rat’s spatial learning and memory were assessed in a Morris water maze. The pool was separated into four equal quadrants, and an escape platform was hidden below the surface at a fixed location in one of the quadrants.

The rats had to locate the platform within 60 seconds. The average time it took on day 4 for Aβ-treated rats to locate the platform was 55.05 seconds, though most of this group was not able to find it in the allotted time. Aβ rats treated with IRL-1620 were able to find the platform in 26.53 seconds, nearly 50% the time. After five days, Aβ rats treated with IRL-1620 showed a 60% improvement in learning and memory.

“Our research is based on the idea of using the endothelin [ET] system in the treatment of AD,” said Dr. Gulati. “The ET system is traditionally known to play a role in the regulation of blood flow. This is important in the potential treatment of AD since disturbances in blood flow could damage the brain’s ability to clear damaging particles, leading to a buildup of toxic substances and cognitive impairment.”

The next stage of the research is to additionally study the endothelin receptor type B’s mechanisms of neuroprotection and to look into possible resulting tissue changes following AD.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five medications to treat the symptoms of AD. Current agents help disguise the symptoms but do not treat the underlying disease. A breakthrough AD treatment would target the underlying disease and stop or delay the cell damage that ultimately leads to the aggravation of symptoms.

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