March 22, 2011
Researchers with the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) have discovered how a novel compound can reduce the accumulation of brain plaques seen in Alzheimer’s without the side effects produced by current drugs used for the chronic neurodegenerative disease. In a study published online in the Annals of Neurology, neurobiologists Kim Green and Frank LaFerla found that the ST101 compound triggers a process that carves up amyloid precursor proteins into benign molecules. These precursor proteins, when intact, ultimately can form into beta-amyloid plaques, which are the hallmark lesions of Alzheimer’s and believed to be the primary cause of dementia. The researchers believe ST101 could be the basis of a drug therapy for people with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms.