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LONDON, Oct 12 — Researchers from Imperial College London have developed a gene therapy that has successfully prevented the development of Alzheimer’s disease in mice.
To treat the disease, scientists created a modified a virus using a lentivirus vector in order to target specific cells.
This modified virus also contained a gene called PGC1-alpha, which is said to prevent the formation of amyloid-beta peptide, a protein that causes amyloid plaques.
Amyloid plaques are commonly found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, and are said to cause brain cell death.
The modified virus was delivered directly into the brains of mice suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Lab results showed the mice with the PGC1-alpha gene developed very few amyloid plaques, while the untreated mice had multiple plagues after four months.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Amyloid plaques are formed by a protein known as amyloid-beta peptide. These clumps of protein, which are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, are believed to cause the death of brain cells.”
“Scientists added the gene PGC1-alpha to a modified virus able to target specific cells. This modified virus and was delivered directly into the brains of mice suffering early stages of Alzheimer’s.”
“The gene is said to be able to prevent the formation of amyloid-beta peptide, thus preventing the formation of amyloid plaques.”
“Lab results showed the mice that were injected with the PGC1-alpha gene developed very few amyloid plaques, while untreated mice had multiple plaques.” — Reuters