Updated on 8 April 2015
Alzheimer's is a major economic and social burden worldwide
Singapore: A new drug discovered by researchers' from the University of South Australia and the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, could hold promise in alleviating the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), elaborated that a drug Edaravone can provide relief from the progressive cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's is a major economic and social burden worldwide and despite efforts, researchers have not been able to crack open the physiology of the disease. Lead researcher Professor Xin-Fu Zhou, who is UniSA's Research Chair in neurosciences, explained that Edaravone can alleviate Alzheimer's disease pathologies and improve functions of learning and memory - in a mouse model of the disease - by multiple mechanisms.
Prof. Zhou added, "Edaravone is a free radical scavenger that can suppress the toxic functions of amyloid beta to nerve cells reducing oxidative stress that causes brain degeneration. The drug can hinder the production of amyloid beta by inhibiting the amyloid beta production enzyme. It also inhibits the Tau hyperphosphorylation which can generate tangles accumulated in the brain cells and disrupt brain functions."
However, researchers stressed that Edaravone should not be used for Alzheimer's patients before appropriate clinical trials are undertaken. Prof. Zhou is seeking investment and partnership opportunities to further the research.