A nearly 13-year-old skin cancer drug rapidly alleviates molecular signs of Alzheimer’s disease and improves brain function, according to the results of a new mouse study being hailed as extremely promising. Early-stage human clinical trials could begin within months.
In the study, published online in today in Science, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and colleagues used mice genetically engineered to exhibit some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Most notably, the mice produced amyloid beta peptides—toxic protein fragments that gum up neurons and lead to cell death—and showed signs of forgetfulness.
Amyloid beta (red areas) peptides clear from the brain of an Alzheimer’s mouse after three days of treatment with a cancer drug (right image). Source: AAAS/Science