New drug treats symptoms of Alzheimer’s in mice

Jasmine Phu

June 3, 2011

A new drug being developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, may be the key to unlocking a better way to treat Alzheimer's disease, along with other neurological disorders. 

The pill, known as J6, uses a pathway that breaks down an amino acid in order to trigger a slow-release compound that protects against mental illness. That means that it doesn't directly affect the brain, an organ that many researchers have sought to avoid touching.

"Most would have assumed that the drug would have to enter the brain to have an effect," said researcher Paul Muchowski. He added that the method of implementing J6 could help create a blueprint for further treatments that can cure symptoms of disease in the brain without interfering with its processes.

Families who are currently caring for an Alzheimer's patient may want to take precautions to make sure a loved one is safe at home. Installing a senior alert system can be an effective way to make sure that residents have a way to immediately send a personal emergency response message if they require assistance.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that almost 15 million Americans are tending to the needs of an Alzheimer's patient and 80 percent of all care is being done at home.  

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