Potential Alzheimer’s Therapies May Result from Research Into Anti-Cancer Drug, Scientists Say

Potential Alzheimer’s Therapies May Result from Research Into Anti-Cancer Drug, Scientists Say
Scientists have discovered the anti-cancer drug bexarotene may target the first step in the toxic chain activity that leads to the death of brain cells, paving the way to new Alzheimer’s therapies. The study, conducted by an international team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in England, Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, is titled “An anticancer drug suppresses the primary nucleation reaction that initiates the production of the toxic Aβ42 aggregates linked with Alzheimer’s disease,” and was published in the journal Science Advances. Bexarotene, a third-generation retinoid, is an anticancer therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that has been found to delay the onset of Alzheimer's, both in a test tube and in worms. Like statins, bexarotene is safe and widely used by those at risk for heart disease. However, this is the first study reporting its potential as a "neurostatin." Researchers observed that bexarotene delivery into worms genetically modified to develop Alzheimer's disease was not effective once disease symptoms had already emerged. But when the drug was given before the onset of symptoms, the animals did not develop Alzheimer's, suggesting that bexarotene or other similar molecules might be used to reduce the risk of the debilitating disease. Specifically, the researchers found that bexarotene halts primary nucleation, the first stage in the molecular casc
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