Targeting Single Enzyme May Produce Multiple Benefits for Alzheimer’s, Mouse Study Suggests

Targeting Single Enzyme May Produce Multiple Benefits for Alzheimer’s, Mouse Study Suggests
Targeting a single enzyme called PI3K-delta prevented neuroinflammation, reduced the accumulation of toxic amyloid-beta plaques in the brain, and prevented memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study shows. This approach, which also increased the animals' life span, may represent a potential new strategy to halt Alzheimer’s progression and ease hallmark symtoms of the disease. The study, “p110δ PI 3-kinase inhibition perturbs APP and TNFα trafficking, reduces plaque burden, dampens neuroinflammation and prevents cognitive decline in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model,” was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Accumulation of abnormal amyloid-beta aggregates in brain cells and activation of microglia — the resident immune cells in the brain — are two key features of Alzheimer’s. Amyloid-beta protein accumulation is considered one of the main triggers of Alzheimer’s. Its deregulation and progressive deposition promotes the activation of microglia, which can be beneficial in the early stages of Alzheimer's by helping to prevent the spreading of plaques. However, chronic microglia activation and neuroinflammation ultimately leads to nerve cell death and cognitive decline. As researchers investigate the processes underlying Alzheimer’s disease, they say it may be necessary to target both neurological and inflammatory components at the same time. “Most
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