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Alzheimer's drug holds promise for rare neurological disease

IANS  |  New York 

An existing therapy frequently used to reduce symptoms of might work on patients with a rare neurological that destroys language and currently has no treatment, suggest researchers.

patients are presently treated with a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors which reduce its symptoms by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine -- a messenger that contributes to learning and memory.

The study, led by researchers, found that individuals with (PPA) undergo the same loss of cholinergic neurons and axons in the forebrain as individuals with Therefore, they might also benefit from these cholinesterase inhibitors.

The team focused on the type of PPA that shows a pathology -- the plaques and tangles -- in the brain.

However, these patients tend to be excluded from Alzheimer's-related clinical trials and are less likely to be prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors.

"That's why our study is so important for patients," said Changiz Geula from the varsity.

No one knew before that this cholinergic system is destroyed in patients with PPA associated with Alzheimer's but we've now demonstrated that and have justified the need for clinical trials with this therapy, the researchers said.

"The findings provide the basic scientific foundation to spur a clinical trial to test the treatment on patients with PPA," Geula said.

The study, reported in journal, noted that brain scans called positron emission (PET) can determine if there is pathology in someone's brain while they are alive.

This makes it possible to see if someone has the type of PPA associated with or not.

In individuals with PPA, brain regions responsible for language, located in the left hemisphere in the majority of the population, are damaged first.

Patients with PPA progressively continue to lose their ability to talk, read, write or understand what they hear. In Alzheimer's, brain regions controlling memory are attacked first.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 08 2019. 15:48 IST