A pill created by scientists from the University of Oxford may prove to be a valuable therapeutic tool for people with Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that destroys the brain and results in dementia.
The researchers, led by Professors Nicholas P. Sobal and Matthew D. Smith, say they’ve developed a peptide-based pill that will be able to reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer’s.
They say the drug should be safe for people over 70, who have a risk of developing dementia and could be the first of its kind to be tested in humans.
The researchers are already working with Oxford on the project, which is being funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The pill has the properties of a drug, but also the qualities of a peptidoglycan, which are made from a peptides.
The peptide contains proteins that are normally found in cells and proteins that help them break down molecules in the body, and this is what causes them to bind to proteins in the brain.
“We’ve shown that it is possible to make these proteins in living cells,” said Professors Sobal, a professor of pharmacology and immunology at Oxford and the UK’s chief scientific officer, and Smith, a former postdoc in his lab.
“These proteins are normally made in the liver, but they can also be made in our cells.”
They added that the peptide was “very active” in making proteins, and could help prevent or treat Alzheimer’s symptoms.
The Oxford team found that the protein they were looking for could bind to protein receptors in the brains of mice and then “swallow” them up, killing them.
This process is similar to what happens when you ingest a drug that blocks a protein receptor, and so the team suspected that they might be able reverse some of the damage to the brain caused by the disease.
“The peptide binds to receptors on the surface of neurons, and that’s where the problem starts,” explained Prof Smith.
“It binds to the receptor in a way that prevents the brain from recognising it as a drug.”
They tested the pill against two other drugs they had tested against, and found that it “killed” Alzheimer’s mice that had been injected with an Alzheimer’s drug called apoE-10.
In contrast, ApoE had a “weak” effect on the brain, killing mice that were injected with apo-Apo-2-receptors that have been shown to be toxic to the immune system.
In their work, the team said that the pill’s ability to kill the brain is “very promising” and that they hoped to test it in people over the next few years.
“I think that this pill will prove to have enormous potential to treat patients with Alzheimer [and] dementia,” said Smith.
“It will be very difficult to develop a drug against apo A-10, but if we can do that we can get there.”
They also added that their pill could be used as a “treatment strategy” to prevent or reduce the damage the brain may suffer.
They have already tested it in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s, which showed that the drug “can reverse cognitive impairment” in mice that are already suffering from cognitive decline.
They believe this “cognitive recovery” could be a “real advantage” in treating people with dementia, because it is difficult for the brain to heal itself in Alzheimer’s patients.
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult to reverse Alzheimer’s,” said Sobal.
“But if you can reverse Alzheimer disease, then it will be a really useful treatment strategy.”
It’s still unclear what role the peptides they have created play in the disease, but there are some things that seem clear.
They are designed to mimic the way that cells respond to drugs, which could help them to avoid them in the first place.
And the peptidyl peptide in the pill seems to work better than other drugs, so they could “attenuate” the brain’s response to the drugs they are targeting.
“That’s one of the big things that makes this peptide interesting,” said Praveen Ghosh, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University at Buffalo, New York, who has studied peptides before.
“You can do things like modify the shape of the peptidergic receptors, and then you can increase or decrease the size of those receptors, so you can alter the behaviour of the cells.”
The peptides also seem to work as a way to slow down the process of Alzheimerís progression.
This could help people with the disease to live longer, and improve the quality of their lives.
In addition, the pill can be easily manufactured by cutting out some of its parts.
So if you want to take the drug, you can just cut out the pill and the parts of it, and you can make the pill in a few