Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 9pm
Sat:8.30am - 6pm
Sun:10am - 6pmCustomer Service
Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 6pm
Sat:8.30am - 1pm
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive our informative and fun newsletter direct to your inbox. Just enter your email below:
'Miracle pill' to cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis?
One single pill could hold the answer to treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research.
The new drug, developed at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has shown potential to be a 'one-size-fits-all' treatment for neurodegenerative conditions Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.
It works by stopping the inflammation which is believed to be to blame for numerous neurodegenerative brain diseases, in addition to those caused by stroke and head injuries.
Early results from animal testing have proved positive, and scientists have recently completed the first human Phase 1 clinical trial for the drug.
As well as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and MS, the drug could potentially protect against motor neurone disease, frontotemporal dementia and complications from traumatic brain injury.
Two of the drugs, called MW151 and MW189, have been patented by researchers at the university.
Results showed that early treatment with MW151 staved off the development of fully-blown Alzheimer's in laboratory mice.
They are able to prevent inflammation by blocking excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are damaging immune system signalling molecules, according to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
When too many cytokines are produced, synapses in the brain begin to misfire and then the entire organisation of the brain falls into disarray. The neurons lose their connections with each other and die. It is in this way that inflammation can damage the cortex and hippocampus, thereby compromise memory and decision-making.
The pill is taken orally, and crosses the blood-brain barrier easily, according to scientists.
D Martin Watterson, professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry at the Feinberg School, said: "This could become part of a collection of drugs you could use to prevent the development of Alzheimer's."
"In Alzheimer's disease, many people now view the progression from mild cognitive impairment to full-blown Alzheimer's as an indication of malfunctioning synapses, the pathways that allow neurons to talk to each other.
"And high levels of proinflammatory cytokines can contribute to synaptic malfunction.
Share this story