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Researchers discover new approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers discover new approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease

1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, but as WHCU’s Pete Blanchard reports, a researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College has helped discover what could be a groundbreaking new approach to how doctors treat the disease.

A team of researchers from Columbia Univeristy, Brandies University and Weill Cornell Medical College have come up with a new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

It involves strengthening a protein complex called retromer, which research shows is deficient in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

“People who are susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease appear to have less retromer than they should, says Dr. Gregory Petsko, a neurology professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.

He and researchers have found a new class of compounds that can stabilize the retromer protein, thereby defending the body against Alzheimer’s.

“Think of this drug as molecular scotch tape, sticking two of the seams of retromer to keep it more stable longer,” he said.

Dr. Petsko says neurological disease like Alzheimer’s are going to be an epidemic in the United States as the population ages, and that biomedical research on the issue must continue.

“It’s very important that people are aware this problem is serious and going to get more serious for the U.S. and the rest of the world,” he said. “It’s very important that biomedical research continue to try and find that answer to this problem.”

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