Alzforum: Target or Decoy: Are drug developers chasing the right thing?

As the search for treatments of neurodegenerative diseases continues, UC led research on Alzheimer’s

As the search for treatments of neurodegenerative diseases continues, UC-led research on Alzheimer’s Disease continues to spur conversation about what causes the disease and how best to treat it.

In June 2021, Alberto Espay, director and endowed chair, Gardner Family Center for Parkinson's disease and Movement Disorders at the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, presented a study that contradicts prevailing Alzheimer’s theory: that the aggregation of -amyloid plaques lead to cognitive decline. The UC-led research contends that it’s instead the reduction of a certain brain fluid protein.

The article reflects on the evolution of drug therapies for different diseases and how they’ve helped, or not; and how researchers are currently reassessing Alzheimer’s treatments, including a controversial new drug approved by the FDA.  

“Our key message is that neurodegenerative diseases, in general, are associated with loss of protein,” said Espay. He contends that yes, aggregates accumulate, but total soluble protein goes down and that is what leads to disease.

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Featured image at top of Espay's study: Life Sciences Animation.

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