Friday, 17 May 2024 13:30

Coburg: Possible new approach for Alzheimer's treatment? Featured

Using the phage display method, Prof. Dr. Susanne Aileen Funke and her team from the Institute of Bioanalytics at Coburg University of Applied Sciences have discovered two new D-peptides, MMD3 and ISADI, which can alter the feared neuro-damaging aggregation of tau proteins.

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to progressive memory loss and dementia. It is characterized by an accumulation of so-called amyloid plaques, which are protein aggregates that are deposited between the nerve cells of the brain, as well as clumps of disordered protein fibres, so-called tau tangles, inside the nerve cells.

D-peptides consist of D-amino acids, which are the spatial mirror image of natural L-amino acids. They do not occur in nature and are not attacked by the body's own defense systems as quickly as natural peptides. Initial cell culture experiments have shown that the D-peptides are efficiently taken up by the cells and can inhibit the toxic reaction of the tau peptides.

So far, only the symptoms of Alzheimer's can be treated. Although first therapies that can change the progression of the disease have been approved in the USA, the effect is not as strong as hoped. The drugs are expensive, have side effects and have to be administered at a very early stage of the disease. However, Alzheimer's is usually diagnosed at a later stage. Therefore, new treatment methods are urgently needed.

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