Researchers pinpoint enzyme linked with Alzheimer's development

1 March 2012

US researchers have carried out innovative health research which could shed new light on the causes of Alzheimer's disease.

A team of scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been successful in pinpointing an epigenetic culprit which could be key to memory decline in those suffering from the severe condition.

Deemed the HDAC2, the researchers found that when they blocked the enzyme in mice, some of the neurons in the animal's brain reawakened and a significant amount of cognitive function was recovered.

As a result of this finding, the scientists believe that drugs which work against this enzyme may result in better treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

Li-Huei Tsaim, who led the team in the research, commented: "It's going to be very important to develop selective chemical inhibitors against HDAC2.

"If we could delay the cognitive decline by a certain period of time, even six months or a year, that would be very significant."

The study could advance the medical industry, seeing as though the Alzheimer's Society predicts that more than a million people in the UK will suffer from dementia by 2021.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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