Trial Drugs Used to Reverse Alzheimer’s Symptoms

May 7, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Scientists conducting research for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust are reporting a major breakthrough for the future treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The U.S. scientists successfully used a class of drugs called, HDAC inhibitors that reversed the effects of Alzheimer’s in mice. This is promising news for the more than 5.3 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s.

HDAC inhibitors are already being tested on Huntington’s disease and are on the market to treat some types of cancers. This is the first time HDAC inhibitors have been used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The drugs work by targeting and inhibiting an Alzheimer’s gene called histone deacetylase 2, or HDAC2,

The HDAC2 gene is implicated in Alzheimer’s, because it controls the brain’s memory function. Loss of memory is a particularly devastating symptom suffered by patients with Alzheimer’s.

In the study conducted on lab mice, the drugs were successful in directly targeting and boosting the brain’s memories, reversing previous evidence of memory loss indicators. The drugs also improved upon the development of synaptic plasticity and synapse processes of the brain, which control neural circuits that also affect memory.

Lead researcher Professor Li-Huei Tsai, is excited by the “long-lasting changes in how other genes are expressed, when treating an Alzheimer’s brain with HDAC inhibitors.

Professor Li-Huei Tsai cautions more studies are needed before clinical studies can be conducted on human patients. An approved treatment using HDAC inhibitors may be ten years away, but this new study offers great hope.

The study also provided scientists with a greater understanding of how Alzheimer’s affects a patent’s memory. Further studies are now planned on the identified Alzheimer’s gene, HDAC2.



One Response to “Trial Drugs Used to Reverse Alzheimer’s Symptoms”

  1. Tracy on May 8th, 2009 4:41 am

    This type of research is exactly why clinical studies are so important.
    It is important for patients and families affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s to consider participating in clinical studies. One such study for Alzheimer’s is the ICARA (Bapi) Study (, whose goal is to explore if an investigational drug, called Bapineuzumab, can help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Current therapies for Alzheimer’s treat the symptoms associated with it, not the disease itself.
    Clinical studies that test new treatments are the best chance we have for fighting this disease.

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