New protein injection reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice in just one week Human trials are not far off.

New protein injection reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice in just one week

Human trials are not far off.

BEC CREW

21 APR 2016

mouse-model-alzheimers_1024
mouse-model-alzheimers_1024

Researchers have discovered that an injection of a protein called IL-33 can reverse Alzheimer's-like symptoms and cognitive decline in mice, restoring their memory and cognitive function to the same levels as healthy mice in the space of one week.

Mice bred to develop a progressive Alzheimer's-like disease as they aged (called APP/PS1 mice) were given daily injections of the protein, and it appeared to not only clear out the toxic amyloid plaques that are thought to trigger Alzheimer’s in humans, it also prevented more from forming.‌‌

"IL-33 is a protein produced by various cell types in the body and is particularly abundant in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)," says lead researcher, Eddy Liew from the University of Glasgow in the UK. "We found that injection of IL-33 into aged APP/PS1 mice rapidly improved their memory and cognitive function to that of the age-matched normal mice within a week."

Before we go any further, we should make it clear that these results are restricted to mice only, and at this stage, we have no idea if they will translate at all in humans with Alzheimer’s.

And the odds aren’t great - one study put successful translation of positive results in mice to humans at a rate of about 8 percent, so we can never get too excited until we see how things fare in human trials.

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