A new study conducted by UMA scientist Inés Moreno, in collaboration with the University of Texas, has identified a potential non-invasive therapy that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, “the main form of dementia in the elderly population”. could check.
The researcher from the University of Malaga has succeeded in reducing the amount of toxic proteins in the brain, which is the main cause of neuronal death in Alzheimer’s disease, in a preclinical model.
These proteins are also present in blood, and according to this expert from the UMA, they are in balance with the brain – as they increase in the brain, they increase in the blood, and vice versa. Based on these results, Moreno proposes to remove these toxic aggregates as a target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The article was published by the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatrywhich belongs to the Nature Group.
“Removing the toxic proteins from the brain is the goal of most current therapies for Alzheimer’s disease,” explains the researcher of the UMA group “NeuroAD”.
Acting at the circulatory level
The innovation of this research is that it proposes to reduce these toxins from the blood as they are also present in the bloodstream. “We verified that when we remove toxins from the blood, they move back from the brain to the blood in search of equilibrium, improving the clinical signs and pathology of the disease,” says Moreno.
The scientist points out that in some cases the analysis of blood samples is already being used for the diagnosis of the disease as an alternative to neuroimaging. However, until now it has never been used for the purpose proven in this article. Consequently, “this new use opens the door to potential non-invasive therapeutic strategies that can be implemented at the circulatory level”.
In this way, the results proven in animal models have shown that this treatment would improve memory and learning ability and correct cognitive impairment, able not only to remove toxic proteins, but also to modify key factors in the development of this disease .
Next step: clinical model
The University of Texas, where Inés Moreno is an associate professor, will continue this study at the clinical level to establish the molecular mechanisms involved in this amelioration of the disease and, also, whether the treatment would work in patients through, for example, dialysis or even transfusions in patients with dementia.