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News1999June › New alzheimer's drugs cut out good effects › June 1999

New alzheimer's drugs cut out good effects

Presenilin inhibitors among the newest drugs to be developed for Alzheimer's disease could have "unfortunate effects" on the body, warn researchers in America

Presenilin inhibitors among the newest drugs to be developed for Alzheimer's disease could have "unfortunate effects" on the body, warn researchers in America.

In a major series of studies, researchers from University of Pennsylvania in the US have discovered that while presenilins proteins thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's may have a negative role to play in the disease, they also have a positive role to play in maintaining proper immune system function.

Researchers now believe that it is mutant presenilins which are responsible for early onset, familial Alzheimer's. Further study is needed to demonstrate fully the mechanism by which the healthy proteins help the immune system and maintain brain function (Nature, 1999; 398: 518-22, 522-5, 525-9).


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