A Pill to Grow New Brain Cells could aid Alzheimer’s Sufferers

November 12, 2012

A Pill to Grow New Brain Cells could aid Alzheimer

Researchers at the University of Texas South-Western medical Centre in Dallas are working on a compound called P73c, which they hope will eventually become a tablet to improve the suffering of alzheimers patients.

Their experiments on mice have shown that the compound helps the new neurons, which are produced every day in our brain, to survive and grow becoming brain cells. The mice were given compounds from 300,000 chemicals and then their brains were dissected to see if any new cells had formed in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Eventually the P7C3 compound was discovered and a derivative of P7C3 called A20 was said to work even better.

P7C3 and A20 were given to the elderly mice for two months and they did far better than the elderly mice without the compound in a water maze test. These mice, when dissected were found to have three times the normal number of new neurons.

There have been trials to produce an alzheimers tablet and one in particular – Dimebon – was showing promise. Unfortunately it failed in recent clinical trials, but it is hoped that the P7C3 compound will improve Dimebon’s potency and efficiency and that eventually an effective pill will be produced.

Presently there are over 26 million people suffering from alzheimers worldwide and the drugs which are available only minimally improve the symptoms.

The National Institute on Mental Health were involved in the financing of the study and they have stated that researchers are now on their way to finding a cure for the age related cognitive illness.

Meanwhile researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine have successfully carried out tests on mice with a molecule called PKR. Normally when this is present in humans it triggers the onset of viral infections, but when PKR inhibitors were injected into the stomachs of mice their memory improved and their brain function was more efficient. The Baylor College of Medicine were hopeful that a tablet form of the PKR inhibitor will become available within the next five years, as long as the rest of the research continues and the funding is in place.

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