In the continued search for the answer to preventing cognitive decline as we age, scientists from Cambridge University have found that a naturally occurring molecule may be the answer in stopping Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages.
The news brings us a step closer to a potential preventative measure we can take to halt Alzheimer’s in its tracks, but one of the issues is that the pharmaceutical industry will likely jump on top of the creation of a drug made from this molecule. This means we could be offered either a tainted solution, or one that is much more expensive than necessary (like most pharmaceuticals are).
Lead author Dr. Samuel Cohen told the Daily Mail:
“This is the starting point for finding a drug that stops Alzheimer’s disease in its tracks. It might be used when the first symptoms appear. But another potential approach is that people would take it as a preventative drug.”
Though while the research is indisputably exciting, Dr. Cohen said many similar proteins may be more suited for use as a drug.
“It may not actually be too difficult to find other molecules that do this, it’s just that it hasn’t been clear what to look for until recently,” Cohen said. “It’s striking that nature – through molecular chaperones – has evolved a similar approach to our own by focusing on very specifically inhibiting the key steps leading to Alzheimer’s. A good tactic now is to search for other molecules that have this same highly targeted effect and to see if these can be used as the starting point for developing a future therapy.”
…People could take them in their 60s to stop these proteins grouping together, well before the symptoms appear, which would reduce the risk of developing the devastating effects of this disease.”
Dr. Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK said:
“This study has revealed clues to how to block one important chain of events in the disease.”
Dr. Doug Brown of the Alzheimer’s Society added:
“This revelation is exciting as it gives scientists a whole new way of looking at the problem, opening the doors to possible new treatments.”