Enzyme May Help Memory in Alzheimer’s

Aug. 24, 2006 — Researchers have discovered an protein that may foil some Alzheimer’s memory problems.

Columbia University’s Bing Gong, MD, and colleagues describe the enzyme, called Uch-L1, in the diary Cell.

Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s malady erodes memory. Brains influenced by Alzheimer’s tend to be moo in Uch-L1, according to Gong’s team.

They utilized Uch-L1 to help mice with Alzheimer’s brain plaque make unused memories.

The enzyme “might be an alluring target for the improvement of new therapeutic approaches to Alzheimer’s illness,” write the analysts.

To begin with, the scientists examined sound mice without brain plaques. They gave a few of the mice a shot that blocked Uch-L1.

Gong’s team then put the mice in a extraordinary cage, one by one, and attempted to prepare them, employing a mild foot stun, to remain still. The mice that had gotten the enzyme-blocking shot were less likely to remain still in the cage.

Following, the analysts made a protein that includes Uch-L1. They infused that protein into mice that had brain plaque.

The mice that got the Uch-L1 shot were more likely to memorize to remain still in the test cage, rather like healthy mice, beginning three weeks after the Uch-L1 infusion.

The enzyme didn’t destroy brain plaque’s building blocks, which are called amyloid beta proteins. That can be a great thing, agreeing to Columbia University’s Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD.

“Because the amyloid beta proteins that cause Alzheimer’s may play a typical, critical physiological role within the body, we can’t crush them as a treatment,” says Arancio, who worked on the think about, in a Columbia College news release.

“What makes this recently discovered protein energizing as a potentially successful treatment is that it reestablishes memory without crushing amyloid beta proteins,” Arancio includes.

The chemical needs much more ponder before it’s ready for human tests, the researchers note.

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