Tuesday January 28, 2020

Alzheimer’s Drugs Improve Memory and Slow The Ageing Process

Old age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and above the age of 65, a person's risk of developing the disease doubles about every five years

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Alzheimer's
The contribution of old age-associated detrimental processes to the disease has been largely neglected in Alzheimer's disease Drug discovery. Pixabay

Researchers have found that two experimental Alzheimer’s Drugs, known as CMS121 and J147, improve memory and slow the degeneration of brain cells.

The research, published in the journal eLife, suggests that the drugs may be useful for treating a broader array of conditions and points out a new pathway that links normal ageing to Alzheimer’s disease.

“This study further validated these two compounds not only as Alzheimer’s drug candidates, but also as potentially more widely useful for their anti-aging effects,” said the study’s co-author Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the US.

The researchers have shown how these compounds can slow ageing in healthy older mice, blocking the damage to brain cells that normally occurs during ageing and restoring the levels of specific molecules to those seen in younger brains.

Old age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and above the age of 65, a person’s risk of developing the disease doubles about every five years.

“The contribution of old age-associated detrimental processes to the disease has been largely neglected in Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery,” said Antonio Currais, a Salk staff scientist and first author of the new paper.

In the new study, the researchers turned to a strain of mice that age unusually fast.

A subset of these mice was given CMS121 or J147 beginning at nine months old — the equivalent to late middle age in humans.

Alzheimer's
Researchers have found that two experimental Alzheimer’s Drugs, known as CMS121 and J147, improve memory and slow the degeneration of brain cells. Pixabay

After four months, the team tested the memory and behaviour of the animals and analysed the genetic and molecular markers in their brains.

Not only did the animals given either of the drug candidates performed better on memory tests than mice that had not received any treatment, but their brains also showed differences at the cellular and molecular levels.

In particular, expression of genes associated with the cell’s energy-generating structures called mitochondria was preserved by CMS121 and J147 with ageing.

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“The bottom line was that these two compounds prevent molecular changes that are associated with ageing,” said Maher.

More detailed experiments showed that both drugs affected mitochondria by increasing levels of the chemical acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA). (IANS)

Next Story

Boys With ‘Progressive Views’ Less Likely to be Violent: Study

For the findings, the research team surveyed 866 13- to 19-year-old boys at after-school programmes, libraries, churches and other youth-serving organisations in 20 lower-resource Pittsburgh neighbourhoods

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Boys
Interestingly, the research team did not find that Boys who reported having more gender equitable attitudes were any less likely to engage in homophobic teasing, something three-quarters of the survey respondents endorsed. Pixabay

Teenage boys with more ‘progressive views’ (equitable gender attitudes) are much less likely to be violent or engage in sexually abusive behaviour, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also found that boys who had witnessed their peers engage in violent or abusive behaviour towards girls were up to five times more likely to be violent and abusive themselves.

“The Me Too Movement brought to light how pervasive sexual violence and derogatory behaviour toward women is in our society,” said study lead author Elizabeth Miller from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

“Our findings highlight the wide-ranging impact that witnessing sexual harassment and dating violence has on our teenage boys, and present an opportunity to teach adolescents to challenge negative gender and social norms, and interrupt their peer’s disrespectful and harmful behaviours,” Miller said.

For the findings, the research team surveyed 866 13- to 19-year-old boys at after-school programmes, libraries, churches and other youth-serving organisations in 20 lower-resource Pittsburgh neighbourhoods.

The teens completed the surveys anonymously between August 2015 and June 2017 as part of a larger study evaluating the effect of a prevention programme to reduce sexual violence.

Of the 619 boys who had ever dated, one in three reported using abusive behaviour toward someone they were dating in the previous nine months.

Sexual harassment, whether dating or not, was also common, with 56 per cent, saying they had engaged in such behaviour. And 68 per cent of the respondents, said they had been in physical fights, or threatened or injured someone with a weapon.

Boys who said they had witnessed their peers engaging in two or more of nine different harmful verbal, physical or sexual behaviours toward women and girls – such as making rude or disrespectful comments about a girl’s body – had two to five times higher odds of engaging in a variety of violent behaviours, some having nothing to do with women or dating.

Boys
Teenage boys with more ‘progressive views’ (equitable gender attitudes) are much less likely to be violent or engage in sexually abusive behaviour, a new study suggests. Pixabay

“This reinforces that pressure to conform to stereotypes about masculinity that perpetuate harmful behaviours toward women and girls is also associated with getting in a fight with another guy,” said Miller

Interestingly, the research team did not find that teens who reported having more gender equitable attitudes were any less likely to engage in homophobic teasing, something three-quarters of the survey respondents endorsed.

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“It’s a puzzling and troubling finding. We believe it may be because these teens have normalised homophobic teasing – it is so commonplace, they may see it as a form of acceptable, possibly even pro-social, interaction with their peers,” said study researcher Alison Culyba. (IANS)