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Cancer Drug for Alzheimers

In: Science

Submitted By abrcrmbgrl26
Words 664
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Cancer drug may have Alzheimer’s benefits
By Laura Sanders, Science News
Publisher:
Science News
Date Published:
March 10, 2012

Alzheimer’s a disease that progressively attacks the brain’s nerve cells which results in many changes in behavior, memory and thinking skills. Scientists have been studying this disease for decades and have yet to come up with any drug that can cure or help cure this disease, until recently that is. Cramer of Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland took a drug called bexarotene and injected it into mice that have Alzheimer’s. Bexarotene has been around for over ten years and is used as a second treatment of T-cell lymphoma. Cramer and her colleagues studied mice whose brains were full of both types of A-beta plaques. A-beta called amylod-beta exists in small fragments that scramble the nerve cell communication and there are large sticky clumps called plaques. The team gave a dose of the bexarotene to the mice and watched over the next fourteen days to see what would happen. Within the first twenty-four hours the levels of A-beat plaque fell by 25 percent and within the 14 days after given the bexarotene the mice A-beta plaques fell by 75 percent. Bexarotene targets the protein that carries ApoE and tries to regulate it from causing Alzheimer’s. ApoE is a big cause of Alzheimer’s as it tries to carry A-beta from the brain. Cramer ran another test of the memory of the mice. Cramer noted that generally when you put mice in a cage with tissue paper they rip the tissue paper into smaller pieces, turning the paper into a softer bed to sleep in. When Cramer tested mice that had numerous amounts of A-beta in their brains their memory to perform the tissue paper test was not as sufficient as the mice with A-beta being transported out. After injecting bexarotene into the nonperforming mice within three days they...

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