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New Drug May Offer Hope to Alzheimer's Patients

Advancing the fight against Alzheimer's disease, Japanese researchers have in a breakthrough study, developed a new drug that could help treat the most common form of dementia.

IANS

Updated:January 27, 2017, 1:34 PM IST
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New Drug May Offer Hope to Alzheimer's Patients
Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, responsible for 60-70 percent of cases. ©AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN BOZON
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Advancing the fight against Alzheimer's disease, Japanese researchers have in a breakthrough study, developed a new drug that could help treat the most common form of dementia.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions.

The study, led by researchers at Tohoku University in Japan and published in the journal Neuropharmacology -- showed that the new drug -- SAK3 -- stimulates the release of acetylcholine in the brain and improves cognition by activating the memory.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays an important role in controlling attention and cognition.

A dysfunction in the acetylcholine system is believed to be one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia.

SAK3 also halted the production of amyloid beta protein -- the main component of the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer patients.

SAK3 reduces the production of amyloid beta protein, which could lead to the development of the first disease-modifying drug to prevent mild to severe Alzheimer disease, said Kohji Fukunaga, professor at Tohoku University.

For the study, the team conducted experiments on mice model which have so far proven to be safe and well tolerated.

The drug SAK3 is now in the preclinical stage of drug development and clinical trials are expected to begin in the next few years, the researchers said.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
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