Two Therapies, One Approved, Prevent Dementia-related Brain Damage in Mice

Two Therapies, One Approved, Prevent Dementia-related Brain Damage in Mice
Two therapies — one approved and the other already in clinical testing — were seen in a study in mice to work to reduce brain shrinkage and prevent brain cell death. The therapies block a cellular pathway known to be responsible for neurodegeneration and brain cell death in mice. One of the drugs, trazodone hydrochloride, or Desyrel, and is approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and insomnia. The other, dibenzoylmethane (DBM), is now in use in cancer trials. These findings was reported in the study, “Repurposed drugs targeting eIF2α-P-mediated translational repression prevent neurodegeneration in mice,” published in the scientific journal Brain. "This research is at a very early stage and has not yet been tested in people — but as one of the drugs is already available as a treatment for depression, the time taken to get from the lab to the pharmacy could be dramatically reduced," said Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer's Society in the U.K., in a news release. In a previous study, the research team showed that accumulation of misfolded protein in mice brain cells would promote a natural defense system that blocks the production of new proteins. This mechanism caused neurodegeneration and neuron cell death in animal testing, and was found to be over-activated in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Using an experimental
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