Tackling Alzheimer’s with cancer delivery mechanism

Posted Nov 1, 2016 by Tim Sandle
A drug delivery mechanism intended for the treatment of a form of cancer may have effectiveness at slowing down the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new research study.
A neuropsychologist points to a brain scan showing the brain activity of a paedophile at the Hudding...
A neuropsychologist points to a brain scan showing the brain activity of a paedophile at the Huddinge hospital near Stockholm
Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP
In the research, scientists have shown that microscopic droplets of fat can be used to carry drugs into the brain. This therapeutic approach has been in use for several years for the transfer of anti-cancer drugs to key sites.
The process has been tested out in mice. Here, the hitching of drugs onto fat droplets has led to a restoration of memory loss in the mice. It is important to note that this is a proof-of-concept study and the results may not be applicable to people, and any experiments involving people are a long way off from starting.
The process works by using microscopic fat droplets called nanoliposomes. These deposits are coated in protein fragments. In the trial, the coated nanoliposomes appeared able to stop amyloid protein accumulating into plaques. Amyloids are aggregates of proteins that become folded into the wrong shape, allowing many copies of that protein to stick together. The medical theory is that the plaques formed of this protein lead to a loss of brain tissue and the onset of Alzheimer's disease manifestations, such as cognitive decline.
For the research, mice were genetically bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease. These mice were next subject to a treatment regime whereby they were injected with the nanoliposomes for a three week period, and the compared with a control group.
The test mice recovered their long-term memory and could recognise familiar objects after just one day. The control mice did not recover. Discussing the outcomes with Controlled Environments magazine, the lead researcher, Professor David Allsop explains that in light of the experimental findings “there is renewed optimism for antibody drugs — treatments that harness the body’s immune system to target amyloid plaques.”
The best way, the researcher adds, to administer these drugs is via nanoliposomes. A possible mechanism is through the development of a nasal spray.
The research has been published in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. The research is titled “Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine.”