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Alzheimer’s Reversed in Mice?

May 4th, 2008. By Dave Oei. 2,897 views.
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The bad guy?  In this case, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase, or NADPH for short.  We have it, and so do mice.  For a living, it resides in neutrophils (bacteria/fungi eating white blood cells)  and creates superoxides that destroy foreign pathogens.  That is, unless they go out of wack, in which case they apparently feast on something a bit closer to home: Your brain.

Folks in Cornell studied the role of NADPH in mice suffering from an Alzheimer’s analog and found that when this enzyme was switched off, the mice were able to regain some functions lost as a result of their disease.  Slices of their brains showed that turning off NADPH had no effect on decreasing the size of brain plaques, rather, it simply halted the progression of the disease.

And, since the role of NADPH is to create these superoxide free radicals, these scientists speculate that the use of brain-targeted antioxidants may the an answer to if Alzheimer’s kicks in.  Seems like a good start, but it also sounds like the have a ways to go.

Source: Cornell

Biology

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