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Gene therapy 'may prevent Alzheimer's'

Gene therapy 'may prevent Alzheimer's'
7th March 2011

Gene therapy could prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease in those predisposed to the condition, research has found.

A study, published online in Human Molecular Genetics, demonstrated that gene therapy in mice that improved the ability of brain cells to destroy toxic proteins prevented the development of the condition in those likely to have the condition.

It found that by giving brain cells extra parkin genes, they could promote efficient and effective removal of amyloid particles believed to destroy neurons from the inside.

Charbel E-H Moussa, lead investigator, said: "At its core, this is a simple garbage in-garbage out therapy, and we are the first to show that this gene attacks amyloid beta inside brain cells for degradation."

Meanwhile, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience research, has found three genes that influence the amount of amyloid that collects in the brain.

Those mice with lower expression in the liver were found to have superior protection against the amount of amyloid that accumulated in the brain.

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