Posted on 26/11/2012

Could Psoriasis Drug Combat Alzheimer's Disease?

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Could Psoriasis Drug Combat Alzheimer's Disease?

New research shows effectiveness of psoriasis drug

The BBC have reported that "drugs used to calm inflammation in psoriasis may also help to combat the effects of Alzheimer's disease, a study on mice suggests." Characterised by the formation of 'plaques' (abnormal deposits of protein) and fibres within the brain, and the loss of healthy brain cells, Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that, out of the 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK, affects around 460,000 sufferers.

The news reports were based on a study in which proteins which were released by the immune system (IL-12 and IL-23), associated with inflammation, were found in the brains of  mice. The mice were genetically programmed to develop a disease which was similar to Alzheimer's (a 'mouse-model' Alzheimer's).

Using two methods to lower the levels of IL-12 and IL-23 they were able to find ways to reduce the formation of plaques and reverse some of the behavioural problems associated with Alzheimer's. Scientists took two approaches; deleting the genes that carry instructions for making IL-12 and IL-23 and treating them with an antibody to block their effects.

The report has been of particular interested because 'ustekinumab', a drug that blocks the effect of IL-12 and IL-23 has already been used to treat psoriasis in human patients. Due to safety data already existing, it may mean human trials to test it against Alzheimer's could start sooner than trials for a drug completely new to the market. However with more animal research needed to identity its effectiveness and safety, these trials will not happen immediately.

NRS Healthcare stock a range of disability equipment and mobility aids ideal for those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. We also stock a variety of dementia care products, including rehabilitation and therapy aids, memory games and aids to assist with eating and drinking. Please feel free to browse our website or contact a member of our team to discuss your requirements.

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