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US scientists in Alzheimer’s advance

6th March 2006

Scientists in the US have found a compound that could halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at the UC Irvine claim in this month's Neuron publication that the AF267B compound is capable of reducing plaque lesions and tangles in the brain's memory and learning areas, thereby preventing the disease from spreading.

It is also thought that the compound, developed by Abraham Fisher of the Israel Institute for Biological Research, can reduce the cognitive symptoms of the affliction.

It is believed that the drug would be the first disease-modifying compound available on the market, should it be released.

The research team's head, Frank LaFerla, spoke of his excitement at the possibilities for AF267B.

"Not only does it appear to work on the pathology of Alzheimer's and ease its symptoms, it crosses the blood-brain barrier, which means it does not have to be directly administered to the brain, a significant advantage for a pharmaceutical product," he said.

The disease is thought to affect around 600,000 adults in the UK.