Drug that extends life span may prevent Alzheimer's

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Washington, April 2 (ANI): Rapamycin, a drug that has been shown to extend lifespan in mice and is used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, has demonstrated an ability to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

A few weeks after a report that rapamycin curbed the effects of Alzheimer's disease in mice, a second group is announcing similar results in an entirely different mouse model of early Alzheimer's.

Both reports are from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The second report showed that administration of rapamycin improved learning and memory in a strain of mice engineered to develop Alzheimer's.

The improvements in learning and memory were detected in a water maze activity test that is designed to measure learning and spatial memory.

The improvements in learning and memory correlated with lower damage in brain tissue.

"Rapamycin treatment lowered levels of amyloid-beta-42, a major toxic species of molecules in Alzheimer's disease. These molecules, which stick to each other, are suspected to play a key role in the early memory failure of Alzheimer's," said Veronica Galvan, assistant professor from the Barshop Institute and the Department of Physiology.

The study appears in the journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)

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