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New way of controlling cholesterol may help treat Alzheimer's

itors with statin drugs could have even more beneficial effects. If we can duplicate what we found in this animal study with the drug that reached Phase 3 human trials, we could cut ten years from the usual drug development timetable," she says.

Trying to reduce amyloid deposition through cholesterol metabolism may have a special benefit over some other strategies, Kovacs notes. "Many other drugs in development for Alzheimer's target the secretases" enzymes that cut the larger amyloid precursor protein into smaller fragments, including amyloid-beta. "Because secretases have normal functions, secretase inhibitors have to be tailored to selectively stop amyloid-beta production. Since they do not affect secretases, ACAT inhibitors may have fewer side effects." Kovacs is an assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.


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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
13-Oct-2004


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