Memory Restored in Alzheimer's Using Cancer Drug

Memory Restored in Alzheimer's Using Cancer Drug
Star-like glial cells in red surround alpha beta plaques in the
cortex of a mouse with a model of Alzheimer's Disease.
(Credit: Strittmatter lab/Yale)
Memory, as well as connections between brain cells, were restored in mice with a model of Alzheimer's given an experimental cancer drug, researchers report in the journal Annals of Neurology.

The drug, AZD05030, developed by Astra Zeneca proved disappointing in treating solid tumors but appears to block damage triggered during the formation of amyloid-beta plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The new study, funded by an innovative National Institutes of Health (NIH) program to test failed drugs on different diseases, has led to the launch of human trials to test the efficacy of AZD05030 in Alzheimer's patients.
 
In the last five years, scientists have developed a more complete understanding of the complex chain of events that leads to Alzheimer's disease. The new drug blocks one of those molecular steps, activation of the enzyme FYN, which leads to the loss of synaptic connections between brain cells. Several other steps in the disease process have the potential to be targets for new drugs.

Based on material originally posted by Yale University.