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Jan 25, 2007

Roskamp Institute Discovers New Class of Drugs for Alzheimer's Disease

  • The Roskamp Institute discovered a new class of drugs that lowers the production of the main pathological protein that causes Alzheimer's disease.

    The discovery is detailed in an article co-authored by Daniel Paris, senior scientist, and Michael Mullan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the institute, appearing in Neuroscience Letters. They report that NF-kB, already known for its role in inflammation, also stops the production of B-amyloid.

    "Although we have known about the important inflammatory role of NF-kB for a long time, we did not know that it controls B-amyloid production," remarks Dr. Paris. "This may be one way that the inflammation caused by B-amyloid leads to more B-amyloid being produced—a positive feedback loop with awful consequences for the sufferer."

    Dr. Mullan notes that the discovery gives “many companies working on NF-kB inhibitors the opportunity to test these types of drugs in Alzheimer's."



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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