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GEN News Highlights : Jan 25, 2007

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

NF-kB, already known for its inflammatory role, also stops production of B-amyloid.

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."