Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 300 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 26-Oct-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 27-Oct-2004
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New evidence to help explain statins' effects in Alzheimer's disease

Scientists at Jefferson Medical College and the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have taken another step in understanding the potential effects of anti-cholesterol drugs on Alzheimer's disease. They have identified a biochemical pathway that affects the activity of statins, particularly their ability to break down an early form of the protein amyloid that clusters and forms sticky plaques in the Alzheimer's brain.

The results may eventually help provide new targets for anti-amyloid drugs to help treat Alzheimer's disease.

Some epidemiological studies have found a link between people taking statin drugs to lower blood cholesterol and a lower incidence of Alzheimer's. Statins work by inhibiting an enzyme involved in cholesterol production, and currently are being tested in clinical trials for their possible effects in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's.

In a series of experiments, Steve Pedrini, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Neurology in Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and in the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Jefferson, and his co-workers found evidence suggesting that an enzymatic pathway called Rho/ROCK may play an important role in the metabolism of APP, which is an early form of amyloid, and in turn, the ability of statins to break down a form of APP.

Dr. Pedrini presents his results October 25, 2004, at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. "It's particularly important to understand the pathways involved in Alzheimer's, especially to find more specific therapies," Dr. Pedrini says.

"This reveals an unsuspected pathway linking statins and amyloid metabolism," says Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences. "This may help unravel statin action in Alzheimer's as well as point the way toward novel anti-amyloid drugs."

Additional Vidyya Resources:

   Alzheimer's Disease  
   Alzheimer's Disease And Dementia: Reminyl (Galantamine Hydrobromide)  
   Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet  
   Alzheimer's disease genetics fact sheet   
   Alzheimer's disease - Unraveling the mystery  
   Forgetfulness: It’s Not Always What You Think  
   Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery  
   New Fronts in Alzheimer's Research  
   Alzheimer's Disease Info: Questions to Ask the Doctor (Administration on Aging)   
   Mild Cognitive Impairment: Possible Predictor of Alzheimer's (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)  
   Agitation and Alzheimer's Disease (Alzheimer's Association) - Links to PDF File   
   Depression and Alzheimer's Disease (American Academy of Family Physicians)   
   Sleep Changes in Alzheimer's Disease (Alzheimer's Association) - Links to PDF File   
   Alzheimer's Disease Medications (National Institute on Aging)  
   Coping with Changes in Daily Life (Alzheimer's Association)   
   Helping Your Family and Friends (Alzheimer's Association)   
   Making Job Decisions (Alzheimer's Association)   
   Aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease (Alzheimer's Association) - Links to PDF File  
   Choosing Health Care Providers and Facilities (Alzheimer's Association)   
   Financial Matters for Alzheimer's Care (Alzheimer's Association)  
   Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center (National Institute on Aging)   
   Alzheimer's Association  
   Administration on Aging   
   Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation   

News Articles:

   Alzheimer's: Searching for a cure -19-August-2003   
   Antibiotic therapy for Alzheimer's? -10-October-2003   
   Anti-inflammatory drugs lower risk of Alzheimer's -18-July-2003  
   Brain plaques in Alzheimer’s disease linked to eye disease -11-May-2003  
   Can vitamins slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease? -16-March-2003  
   Drug Improves Brain Structure in Alzheimer's Patients -03-November-2003  
   Enzyme helps guard against Alzheimer's disease -31-July-2003  
   Enzyme reponsible for Alzheimer's plaques blocked by lithium. -22-May-2003  
   FDA approves memantine (Namenda) for Alzheimer's disease -18-October-2003   
   Findings reported in February Archives of Neurology provide new insights on Alzheimer’s disease -19-February-2003   
   First study of Alzheimer's caregivers and end-of-life cites both remarkable resilience, need for support -14-November-2003  
   Information from the FDA: Alzheimer's --- Searching for a cure -22-July-2003  
   Leisure activity may reduce risk of Alzheimer's -21-October-2003  
   Neuroscientists pinpoint midlife crisis in brain circuitry as key to brain aging and onset of Alzheimer's later in life -30-December-2003  
   A new molecular culprit for type II diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's -22-October-2003   
   New studies in mice suggest ways to clear damaging Alzheimer’s amyloid plaques -26-May-2003   
   Rush researchers find effects of Alzheimer's disease may be influenced by education -25-June-2003  
   Searching for 1,000 families with multiple members with Alzheimer's disease -26-July-2003  
   Stroke may increase risk of Alzheimer disease -16-December-2003  
   Study boosts confidence in potential screening tool for Alzheimer's disease Lifestyle changes effective in lowering blood pressure -24-April-2003   
   Study boosts confidence in potential screening tool for Alzheimer's disease -02-May-2003  
   Study shows people with Alzheimer's can benefit from exercise combined with caregiver training -15-October-2003  
   Study suggests dramatically rising numbers of people with Alzheimer’s disease -19-August-2003   
   Synthetic marijuana reduces agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s -16-November-2003  
   3-D images show how Alzheimer's engulfs brain -09-February-2003   
   Two new studies showed Alzheimer’s disease treatment beneficial in other memory-related conditions -06-April-2003  
   UCLA researcher discovers the role of common painkillers in protecting against Alzheimer's disease -13-March-2003  
   Unusual form of memory loss often confused for Alzheimer's disease -20-October-2003  
   Additional information: Low free testosterone levels linked to Alzheimer’s disease in older men -30-January-2004  
   Alzheimer’s Association statement on a study of clioquinol targeting Aß amyloid deposition and toxicity in alzheimer’s disease from Archives Of Neurology, December 2003 -05-January-2004   
   Brain cell death in Alzheimer’s disease linked to protein accumulation and insulin biochemistry -22-June-2004  
   Brightly colored cups, plates spur food, beverage consumption in advanced Alzheimer's disease -25-September-2004  
   Diabetes linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's in long-term study -22-May-2004  
   Diagnosticians would do well to raise the bar when testing high-functioning people for pre-clinical signs of Alzheimer's disease -05-January-2004  
   Immunoglobulin therapy for Alzheimer's? -18-September-2004  
   The mentally-demanding job and development of Alzheimer's disease -10-August-2004  
   New animal model for Alzheimer vaccine -07-March-2004  
   New research may explain how fats damage neurons in Alzheimer's patients and how diet, hormones and exercise might delay disease onset -16-February-2004  
   New study supports use of PET scans in early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease -12-March-2004  
   No clear-cut answers on statins as therapy for Alzheimer's disease -19-July-2004  
   Pharmaceutical "metal binder" could put the breaks on Alzheimer symptoms -05-January-2004  
   Study is another step in determining if curry can protect against Alzheimer's -19-April-2004  
   Study: Distress-prone people more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease -19-January-2004  
   Study identifies predictors of Alzheimer's disease longevity -8-April-2004  
   Study suggests antipsychotics do not raise risk of stroke in Alzheimer's patients -23-July-2004  
   TANGO towards faster prognosis of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases? -14-September-2004  
   Two proteins may help prevent Alzheimer's brain plaques -22-January-2004  
   Two studies examine relationship between Alzheimer's disease and testosterone -27-January-2004   
   2001-2002 Progress report on Alzheimer's disease -19-January-2004  
   Vitamin supplement use may reduce effects of Alzheimer's disease -20-January-2004  
   When should early-Alzheimer's patients stop driving? Visuospatial tests best predictors of driving skill -26-January-2004   

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