UK study may prove to be a ‘turning point’ in Alzheimer’s cure

Scientists are working assiduously to find a cure for the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease that affects millions of people across the world.

Some of these researchers move a step further in finding ‘just the right medicine’, while the effort of others turn out to be futile. The hunt continues nonetheless.

Latest news emanating from UK suggests that the search for the medicine to halt the death of brain cells, the condition that leads to Alzheimer’s disease, may be on the anvil.

Scientists have hailed the discovery of a drug-like compound that effectively stopped the death of brain cells in mice as a “tuning point” in search for a medicine for Alzheimer’s.

While it will take quite some time for the actual medicine to be available on the chemist’s shelf, the latest study, carried out at the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester, has raised umpteen hopes.

“It’s the first time a substance has been given to mice that prevents brain disease. The fact that this is a compound that can be given orally, that gets into the brain and prevents brain disease, is a first in itself,” lead author of the study, Professor Giovanna Mallucci was quoted in The Independent as saying.

“We can go forward and develop better molecules and I can’t see why preventing this process should only be restricted to mice. I think this probably will translate into other mammalian brains,” opined Mallucci.

While the latest discovery has been greeted with excitement, experts have cautioned that it may only pave the way for new treatments of the Alzheimer’s disease and, per se, the discovery does not guarantee any cure.

More research needs to be done to find out the problematic side-effects. It has also to be ascertained whether the same compound will be efficacious in other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia which affects 800,000 people in the UK. Roughly 127,000 people in the country suffer from Parkinson’s.

Findings of the study find mention in the journal Science Translational Medicine

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