Drugs developed to inhibit an enzyme believed to cause cancer — a strategy that failed — could possibly be an effective therapy to help halt the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, say scientists at Harvard and the University of California at San Diego.
In a study published in Science Signaling magazine
, the researchers reported that while the cancer drugs failed to pass clinical trials, they could aide late-onset Alzheimer's sufferers by affecting mutations of a gene believed to promote the disease.
In experiments with mice, the scientists were able to halt neurodegeneration in the rodents' genes which led to Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer's, a chronic neurodegenerative disease which causes memory loss, speech problems, disorientation and mood swings, affected a staggering 48 million people worldwide last year.
Notables who have been hit by the disease include Ronald Reagan, Glenn Campbell, Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston, James Stewart, Rosa Parks, Perry Como, and Norman Rockwell.
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