Researchers Find Novel Drug Promising For Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers Find Novel Drug Promising For Alzheimer’s Disease
New research presented during the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, focused on the effects of IRL-1620 in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The compound, which acts on the endothelin B (ETB) receptor, reduced learning and memory deficits and oxidative stress in the animals, showing potential as an AD treatment. About 5.3 million people in the U.S. have AD and an estimated 473,000 individuals will develop the disease in 2015. Five FDA approved drugs are available to treat the disease, however, these medications only marginally delay the symptoms of AD and neither cure it nor stop its progression. ETB receptors are essential for brain development and are found in blood vessels. IRL-1620 may help protect brain cells (neurons) through its effects on promoting blood vessel formation. The researchers induced an experimental form of AD in the animals by injecting their brains with beta-amyloid protein, which is believed by many scientists to be the cause of AD. The animals had learning and memory problems and experienced increased oxidative stress in their brains, which refers to the formation of damaging free radicals that can kill neurons. "We used the novel approach of stimulating the endothelin B receptors by intravenous injection of IRL-1620 to prevent and repair the damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer's disease," remarked study co-author Seema Briyal, PhD of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL. Treatment with IRL-1620 improved AD-like symptoms o
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