Compounds that Target Sigma-1 Receptor Offer Promise in Battling Alzheimer’s, Says Anavex

Compounds that Target Sigma-1 Receptor Offer Promise in Battling Alzheimer’s, Says Anavex
New York-based Anavex Life Sciences presented data at the recent 13th International Conference on Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases in Vienna showing that its compounds binding to the sigma-1 receptor hold promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Besides the well-known accumulation of amyloid beta peptide and the formation of senile plaques, researchers have extensively described the brain inflammation and reduced synaptogenesis (the formation of new synapses between neurons) in Alzheimer's. Furthermore, evidence suggests that mitochondria dysfunction precedes the onset of pathological hallmarks in Alzheimer's. The sigma-1 receptor — highly expressed in the central nervous system — resides in the mitochondria. In pre-clinical studies, its activation by ligands stimulated neuroprotection and normalized mitochondria function. However, sigma-1's effects on mitochondria in pathological conditions related to Alzheimer's are still unknown. McGill University's Hélène Hall, PhD, delivered the first poster presentation, “Targeting M1 muscarinic and sigma-1 receptors in Alzheimer’s disease: Reversal of pathological hallmarks and associated cognitive dysfunction in McGill-R-Thy1-APP rats.” This study showed that, using transgenic mice with Alzheimer's-like amyloid pathology, compound Anavex 3-71 (five months of daily treatment), reduced inflammatory response in the brain and increased synaptogenesis. Furthermore, the compound decreased amyloid pathology and fully rev
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