updated - May 31, 2020 Sunday EDT
Acknowledging the huge threat posed by Alzheimer's disease especially for the elderly, a new research by German scientists suggests that an approved psoriasis drug can help cure the most common form of dementia.
Amid several medical breakthroughs, scientists and researchers are still clueless about the causes of Alzheimer's disease. But it has been a consensus that secretases' activity plays a role in this neurological illness.
Secretases are the enzymes that cleave proteins on cell membranes. It will then release products of the cleavage process into the extracellular space. The increase activity of this enzyme creates beta-secretase that will then be amyloid-beta peptides. "These peptides aggregate, damage nerve cells, and are the main component of the so-called Alzheimer's plaques that accumulate in the brains of the patients."
How can a psoriasis drug treat Alzheimer's disease?
According to the research published in the journal Neurology, acitretin can stimulate brain activity of Alzheimer's patients which will lead to improved learning and memory. With trade names Soriatine and Neotigason, acitretin resulted in elevated levels of APPs-alpha in patients' spinal fluid.
Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz found that the alpha-secretase ADAM10 are responsible in battling Alzheimer's plaques and can possibly treat Alzheimer's disease.
Currently, there are about 35 million patients suffering from this most common form of dementia. The bad news is experts expect an increase of 135 million Alzheimer's patients by the year 2050. This makes this disease the most common among elderly.
With the threat that it poses, it is important to discover cure or even treatment that can end Alzheimer's disease. The psoriasis drug possibility of being a treatment will still have to undergo a lot of research before it will be approved.
"In order to further investigate the effect of the test substance on cognitive performance and to establish whether it can be used as a long-term treatment for Alzheimer's patients, larger clinical trials in which the substance is administered for longer periods will need to be undertaken," the researchers wrote.
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