Scientists Discover How a Therapy Both Treats Alzheimer’s and Reverses Aging

Scientists Discover How a Therapy Both Treats Alzheimer’s and Reverses Aging
Salk Institute researchers have discovered how a therapy they are developing alleviates the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and reverses aging in mice. The compound, J147, does this by binding to a protein in mitochondria, the cells' energy powerhouse, the La Jolla, California-based team reported. A key implication of the findings is that one drug may be able to address both Alzheimer's and aging. "This really glues together everything we know about J147 in terms of the link between aging and Alzheimer's," Dave Schubert, the head of Salk's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, said in a press release. "Finding the target of J147 [mitochondria] was also absolutely critical in terms of moving forward with clinical trials" of the therapy in humans, said Schubert, the lead author of the study. The research, “The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a shared drug target for aging and dementia,” appeared in the journal Aging Cell. J147 is a modified version of a molecule found in curcumin, a component of the turmeric plant. Scientists discovered it when they screened several plant-derived substances in their search for a compound that could reverse aging in the brain. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, led by Schubert and research associate Josh Goldberg, discovered that J147 targets a
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