Sunday December 15, 2019

Researchers Discover New Drug Which may Protect Against Memory Loss, Nerve Damage and Other Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

BPN14770, under development by Tetra Therapeutics, could help activate these mechanisms that support nerve health and prevent dementia

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Drug, Memory Loss, Nerve Damage
Preclinical research published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that the drug -- called BPN14770 -- deters the effects of amyloid beta, a hallmark protein of Alzheimer's that is toxic to nerve cells. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered a new drug which may protect against memory loss, nerve damage and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Preclinical research published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found that the drug — called BPN14770 — deters the effects of amyloid beta, a hallmark protein of Alzheimer’s that is toxic to nerve cells.

BPN14770, under development by Tetra Therapeutics, could help activate these mechanisms that support nerve health and prevent dementia, even with the progression of Alzheimer’s.

“Such observations imply that Alzheimer’s pathology can be tolerated by the brain to some extent due to compensatory mechanisms operating at the cellular and synaptic levels,” said study researcher Ying Xu, Associate Professor at University at Buffalo.

Drug, Memory Loss, Nerve Damage
Researchers have discovered a new drug which may protect against memory loss, nerve damage and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Pixabay

“Our new research suggests that BPN14770 may be capable of activating multiple biological mechanisms that protect the brain from memory deficits, neuronal damage and biochemical impairments,” Xu added.

The research conducted in mice, discovered that BPN14770 inhibits the activity of phosphodiesterase?4D (PDE4D), an enzyme that plays a key role in memory formation, learning, neuroinflammation and traumatic brain injury.

PDE4D lowers cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) — a messenger molecule that signals physiological changes such as cell division, change, migration and death — in the body, leading to physical alterations in the brain.

cAMP has numerous beneficial functions, including improved memory. By inhibiting PDE4D, BPN14770 increases cAMP signalling in the brain, which ultimately protects against the toxic effects of amyloid beta.

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“The role of PDE4D in modulating brain pathways involved in memory formation and cognition, and the ability of our PDE4D inhibitor to selectively enhance this process, has been well studied,” said Mark E. Gurney from Tetra Therapeutics.

“We are very excited by our colleagues’ findings, which now suggest a second protective mechanism of action for BPN14770 against the progressive neurological damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” Gurney said.

“Developing effective drugs for memory deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease has been challenging,” said M. O’Donnell, Professor at University at Buffalo.

“BPN14770 works by a novel mechanism to increase cyclic AMP signalling in the brain, which has been shown to improve memory. The collaborative project has led to clinical trials that will begin to test its effectiveness,” O’Donnell said. (IANS)

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Here’s How Proper Sleep Can Help in Reducing Suicidal Thoughts

The frequency and intensity of disturbing dreams or nightmares, also a factor in insomnia-associated suicide

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Suicidal Thoughts
The sleep aid given to people is most effective in reducing Suicidal Thoughts in patients with the most severe insomnia. Pixabay

 Insomnia is a driver of suicide, and people with severe insomnia may safely benefit from taking a sedative to help address their sleep problems as it reduces their Suicidal Thoughts, a new study suggests.

The study, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, included 103 participants aged 18 to 65 with major depressive disorder, insomnia and suicidal thoughts.

All participants took an antidepressant for the eight-week duration of the trial and half also took the sedative-hypnotic zolpidem at bedtime.

“While the results do not argue for the routine prescription of hypnotics for mitigating suicidal ideation in all depressed outpatients with insomnia, they suggest that co-presciption of a hypnotic during initiation of an antidepressant may be beneficial in suicidal outpatients, especially in patients with severe insomnia,” said study researchers from Augusta University in the US.

During the study, participants completed regular self-reports of the severity of their insomnia and completed a daily sleep diary during their treatment that included details like how many times they woke up during the night and how long they actually slept.

Researchers also measured distorted thoughts about sleep, like participants thinking they would never again have a good night’s sleep.

The frequency and intensity of disturbing dreams or nightmares, also a factor in insomnia-associated suicide, also were measured.

Patients wore a wrist device to keep up with rest/activity cycles.

Those taking the sleep aid showed both significant immediate and longer-term improvement in their reported insomnia severity.

Suicidal Thoughts
Insomnia is a driver of suicide, and people with severe insomnia may safely benefit from taking a sedative to help address their sleep problems as it reduces their Suicidal Thoughts. Pixabay

While both groups reported significant improvement in their feelings about hopelessness, quality of life, nightmares and dysfunctional beliefs about sleep, as well as related insomnia and suicidality, the group taking the sleep aid had a greater reduction in suicidal thinking.

The sleep aid was most effective in reducing suicidal thoughts in patients with the most severe insomnia.

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There were no deaths or suicide attempts by participants during the course of the study.

Two weeks after the study concluded both study groups — including those not taking the sleep aid — appeared to have maintained progress with reduced depression scores and suicidal thoughts. (IANS)