Mice Study May Have Profound Impact on Gene Therapy to Treat Alzheimer’s

Mice Study May Have Profound Impact on Gene Therapy to Treat Alzheimer’s
Researchers have successfully used a viral transport mechanism to deliver a gene to the brain of mice that prevented the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The results could have a profound impact on the future of gene therapy in treating Alzheimer’s. These were the findings from a study conducted by researchers at London’s Imperial College through a collaborative funding project between Alzheimer’s Research UK and the European Research Council. The study, “PPARγ-coactivator-1α gene transfer reduces neuronal loss and amyloid-β generation by reducing β-secretase in an Alzheimer’s disease model, was published in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PNAS. The aim of the study was to generate a lentiviral vector expressing the gene human PGC-1α, and target it to be delivered in specific areas of the brain in mice models of AD (animals that have been experimentally modified to be susceptible to the disease) and then evaluate the effect of the delivered therapeutic gene. The researchers used the lentiviral vectors, which are experimentally modified retroviruses (i.e., HIV) that can infect both dividing and nondividing cells, because they have been shown to successfully treat, in the lab, a range of conditions including arthritis and cancer. The study's authors also previously have used a lentiv
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