Alzheimer’s Cure on the Horizon


In a recent interview with Ira Flow at NPR, Stephen Strittmatter explained his new research published in the journal Neuron.  He is Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology at Yale University’s School of Medicine and cofounder of Axerion Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company specializing in the research and development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.  His new study offers key insights into Alzheimer’s disease and gives hope that a cure might be on the horizon.

Since we have not proven what actually causes the disease, Strittmatter worked off the theory that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by abnormally folded proteins called amyloid oligomers.  It is believed that these toxic oligomers are the primary cause of all amyloid-related degenerative diseases.   They interact with neurons in the brain to damage synaptic function, creating memory deficits.  According to this theory, amyloid plaques build up in the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s as a result of these protein interactions.  Strittmatter focused his study on figuring out exactly how these irregularly folded proteins interact with the neurons.  They already knew that the bad proteins interact with prion proteins on the neuron’s surface, but they didn’t know how the interaction was communicated to the inside of the cell.

The study’s main discovery was the protein called mGlur5 or Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Five.  It is the protein responsible for the communication between the abnormally folded proteins and the inside of the neurons in the brain, triggering the internal chemistry that changes the synapses causing the neuron to lose synaptic function.  In essence, the protein mGlur5 crosses the cell membrane of the neuron and activates changes on the inside of the cell triggered by the bad, misfolded proteins causing the damage to the synapse.  Additionally, Strittmater found that blocking the mGlur5 protein using a drug called MTEP not only prevents the damage to the neuron, but may even reverse the loss of synaptic function, bringing back the lost memory.  This new knowledge of Alzheimer’s means a cure could be on the horizon.

Full Article and Source:
Alzheimer’s Cure on the Horizon


9 Responses to “Alzheimer’s Cure on the Horizon”

  1. Thelma Says:

    Wouldn't it be wonderful?

  2. Barbara Says:

    Oh I hope and pray!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    What would happen to all the guardians,lawyers, and probate judges who make their lucrative living devouring the life saving off the wards with this pitiful disease? Please google Teri St.Hilaire,guardian. You can find her on this site too. What she is doing/has done to her wards is textbook guardian abuse

  4. Anonymous Says:

    It would be a beautiful thing!!! Let's pray for that…

  5. Stan Says:

    Alzheimer's is a disease slapped on people who forget their car keys or what day it is, too. I wonder how much of what is attributed to Alzheimer's is really due to Alzheimer's.

  6. Carolyn Says:

    So many lives would be saved. Oh I am encouraged and hope a cure is closer.

  7. Steve Says:

    We need this soooooo bad! Pray hard!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Since many guardian abuse victims were previously diagnosed with medical incapacity issues related to suspected Alzheimer's Disease, controlling the disease would reduce the number of situations in which a guardian might be appointed and the likelihood of abuse and exploitation. Pondering the correlations highlights the need for medical and legal understanding and cooperation.

  9. Alyece Says:

    I hope that there will be a cure.Let's hope that the Food Drug Administration will allow it to be marketed.

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