Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Alzheimer’s metals.

The journal Cell has a report on a mechanism for Alzheimer’s that explains why one treatment, PBT2, appears to be successful in halting the disease in clinical trials.

A precursor protein of the beta-amyloid plaques of Alzheimer’s is called amyloid precursor protein (APP). This has the job of transporting iron out of neurons into the space between neurons. Without this, iron levels build up in the neuron to toxic levels.

However, zinc at the connections between neurons gets drawn into plaque, and this zinc blocks the action of APP. The iron levels then rise, cells ramp up production of APP to try to compensate, and more plaques get formed.

PBT2 is a drug that moves the zinc out of the plaque and back into the neurons. This allows APP to lower the iron levels and less APP is produced.

PBT2 has completed a phase 2a clinical trial intended to test safety and dosage in humans. The maker, Prana Biotechnology, is planning a phase 2b trial “To determine the impact of PBT2 on progression of cognitive and functional decline in patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).”

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September 13, 2010 - Posted by | Aging, Alzheimer's, Brain, Dementia

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