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Experimental Drug Appears to Reverse Alzheimer’s Effects in Mice

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In a study conducted by the Yale School of Medicine,researchers discovered a new drug compound that could potentially reverse the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer’s disease. The study’s results indicate that the experimental drug, TC-2153, inhibits the negative effects of STEP (STriatal-Enriched tyrosine Phosphatase), a protein that is found in elevated levels in those with Alzheimer’s.

Although STEP is an essential protein in the brain and is responsible for regulating learning and memory, high-levels of the protein can be extremely harmful. Elevated levels interfere with synapses and glutamate receptors, which enable us to convert short-term memories to long-term memories.

Yale Professor Paul Lombroso and his team of researchers tested the drug on mice and found those who were given TC-2153 showed a reversal of deficits in several cognitive exercises. “A single dose of the drug results in improved cognitive function in mice,” shares Dr. Lombroso.

The study opens significant avenues for further exploration into new treatments. While this is an early step and any correlation between TC-2153 and improved cognition within human subjects will require further study, it is encouraging to see continued research in the field of Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

Source: Xu J, Chatterjee M, Baguley TD, et al. Inhibitor of the Tyrosine Phosphatase STEP Reverses Cognitive Deficits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. PLOS Biology. 2014.

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