Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New drug restores memory in mice with Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease which causes the gradual loss of memory, is most commonly seen in the elderly, and for a long time has been considered incurable. For a very long time the exact workings of the disease were not known, and as a result the progress of treatment for this disease has been minimal. However, in the last five years the scientific community has made great strides in deciphering the complex chemical pathway that the disease takes, which has in turn lead to medical advances in helping cure this disease.

A new drug, creatively titled AZD05030, has shown to restore synaptic connections as well as memories in mice with Alzheimer's. The drug was originally developed to fight cancer. While it could not fight solid tumor cells, it was able to target plaques that are very common in Alzheimer's. The drug very quickly eliminates many major effects of Alzheimer's, including memory and neuron synapse loss, and the writer's of the original paper are very excited about the progress of their ongoing clinical trials. The Yale science team hopes that soon the drug will be in common clinical circulation soon, helping more people around the world treat their Alzheimer's more effectively than ever thought possible before.

Glial cells (red) surround alpha beta plaques in mouse cortex with Alzheimer's

This is a massive scientific breakthrough in the medical world. Alzheimer's has long been deemed untreatable, but the fact that there is a drug out there that can return memory that was lost during the course of the disease is phenomenal. The drug works by stopping one of the steps in the disease's chemical pathway, halting it in it's tracks. This drug also opens up the potential for other drugs that could work against the disease by stopping other steps in it's chemical pathway. This drug is by no means a final cure for Alzheimer's, but it represents a massive step in finding that cure. While AZD05030 is still in clinical trials, things are looking up to potentially find an end-all be-all cure for this disease in the near future!

Mark Glasman
Group B


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think you should go into just a bit more detail as to how the drug works. I still don't quite have a good grasp on how it functions. Maybe have two or three more sentences regarding the chemical pathway that it 'halts'. Is the pathway you mentioned a survival or proliferation pathway? What specifically does the drug bind to that leads to the meltdown of the pathway? Also i was wondering if you knew how the plaques in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's are formed? Could protein aggregation be a factor? Other than those questions. great blog!

    -Amanda Okpoebo

  3. well, I think the discovery of AZD05030 is actually a good advancement in the scientific world, giving a lot of people some hope to their ailments but my question really is... what is/are the side effects of these medicine ? And also since it is neuro-related, are the gains more than the effects?

    osuji chukwunonso

  4. Great post, and glad to see progress in the battle against such a devastating disease. I volunteer my time each week at the Farren Care Center in Montague. It really is tragic what many of the residents have to deal with. Going beyond just the health of the individual, it can really destroy the meaningful social relationships a person build over their life. Sadly, over 80% of the residents there are excommunicated from their families

  5. Great Post! I think that this is a great breakthrough, and it will give so much hope to so many people. Alzheimers is a disease that has hurt so many families, and any breakthrough will be amazing for the people suffering from it. I agree that it will be great to see this in the future, and see what other combinations of different drugs can help.

    -Madison Boone