A pill that could reverse Alzheimer’s

13 July 2010

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Category: Research & medical benefits

old–man.jpgA new compound that may reverse Alzheimer’s in humans has proven successful in rats and mice.

The compound, P7C3, had the most positive effect out of a thousand substances that were screened. Scientists administered it to ageing rats and noticed an improvement in their ability to swim through water mazes – a standard memory test.

They then tested the compound in modified mice lacking a gene crucial to the survival of newly formed neurons. It normalised the stunted growth of neurons in these mice, helped the cells to proliferate and thickened the layer of neuronal cells by 40%. The team found that P7C3 had an ability to protect cell machinery.

In addition, researchers found that the derivative of P7C3 – A20 – is even more effective. A20 is 300 times stronger than another Alzheimer’s medicine that is currently going through clinical trials. These compounds may be involved in the prevention of apoptosis (cell death) but more research is needed to confirm this.