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Anti-oxidants to fight degenerative diseases

13th January 2006

New treatments for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease could be based on the use of anti-oxidants to defend the brain from damaging free radicals.

Studies into to the effect of inducing anti-oxidants in mice have revealed that they could be effective in slowing down the "decaying process" associated with the disease, according to BBC News.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that the specially created drugs help to repair damaged nerve cells and could also be used on stroke patients.

Professor Stuart Lipton, one of the authors of the study, acknowledged that the drugs had so far only been tested on mice but said that the technique could prove to be groundbreaking in terms of a lack of side-effects.

"The very exciting finding here is that nerve cells are specifically targeted by the new drugs, avoiding other cell types," professor Lipton explained.

"Of even more importance, these drugs may be much less toxic than prior drugs in this class."

Responding to the news, a spokesperson for the Stroke Association said that the findings were positive but that further research and testing was needed.