Their findings will appear in the Nov. 7 print issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.
"This is a completely new therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, which warrants further assessment to allow it to move to clinical trials," says Nigel H. Greig, Ph.D., a researcher with the National Institute on Aging's Intramural Research Program in Baltimore, Md., and chief investigator for the study. "If it works, it could provide a new treatment approach for a wide range of neurological diseases."
The research is limited to cell and animal studies for now, but if all goes well, human clinical trials could begin in two to three years, Greig says. The new drugs could provide relief for millions of Americans who suffer from mental and physical decline due to neurological damage and offer hope to those who are at increased risk due to advancing age.
Drugs currently used to treat neurological disease and injuries provide temporary relief of symptoms but do not stop or slow the underlying neurodegenerative process. The new experimental drugs, by contrast, target the common, underlying cause of this destructive process: the death of brain cells.
"By turning off cell death, you rescue brain cells from lethal insult," Greig says. He compares other drugs to "bandages" that help alleviate brain damag
Contact: Beverly Hassell
American Chemical Society