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Alzheimer's plaque attacked via nose

20th August 2007

An Israeli researcher has developed a novel way to target the plaque build-up which scientists believe causes neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Professor Beka Solomon from the University of Tel Aviv administered a harmless bacterial virus known as a 'filamentous phage' through nasal passages. The phage travels travel to the brain where they lock onto plaque.

Mice treated with the phages which had exhibited Alzheimer's symptoms regained their sense of smell and demonstrated memory improvement.

Professor Solomon commented: "Phages dissolve plaque. The phages are going into the brain, they do their work, and then the body gets rid of them."

She also said that her method had none of the unwanted side-effects associated with other therapies.

Irit Ben-Chlouch, director of business development of life sciences, said Professor Solomon was a "pioneer".

"She was the first to show the disease can be treated using antibodies and, as the main focus of her lab, has developed several different breakthrough approaches."