Friday, April 21, 2017

“Fisher Center scientists have linked a mutation that protects elderly people from developing Alzheimer’s disease with the effect of Gleevec, an FDA approved anti-cancer drug.”



“As published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Greengard and spearheaded by Drs. Bill Netzer and Victor Bustos, [Fisher Center scientists] further discovered that Gleevec and a related compound mimic the effects of the protective mutations and thus can act as models for the development of effective drugs to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

“The cellular process responsible for the mutation’s protective effect was also identified, which suggests that drugs targeting this process or pathway also might provide protection against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

“‘Four approved drugs are currently used to treat Alzheimer’s cognitive symptoms and these drugs produce modest, temporary benefits at best and do not prevent or delay worsening of the disease,’ said Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard, Director of The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research. ‘This new finding opens the doors for new treatments that may actually prevent Alzheimer’s disease from developing, which would drastically decrease the number of people affected by the disease.’

“In a previous study conducted by the Fisher Center scientists, they discovered that Gleevec lowers Aβ levels through indirect inhibition of γ-secretase activity. In the current study, they report that Gleevec also achieves its Aβ-lowering effects through an additional cellular mechanism. It renders APP less susceptible to proteolysis by BACE without inhibiting BACE enzymatic activity or the processing of other BACE substrates.

“‘This study further confirms that treatment with drugs that indirectly modulate BACE processing of APP but spare other BACE substrates while achieving therapeutic concentrations in the brain might be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of AD and could be safer than non-selective BACE inhibitor drugs,’ said Dr. Victor Bustos, Senior Research Associate at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research at The Rockefeller University.

“‘As a direct result of the funding support we provide to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research at The Rockefeller University, the lab has identified an effective treatment model for preventing Alzheimer’s disease,’ said Kent L. Karosen, President/CEO Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. ‘Our lab at The Rockefeller University is on the cutting edge of science and we are pleased to fund their breakthrough research in our quest to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.’”

From the article, Fisher Center Scientists link a Mutation That Protects Against the Development of Alzheimer’s Disease to the Effect of Gleevec


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