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Feb 9, 2012
Drug reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice
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Neuroscientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have shown that use of the drug bexarotene in mice appears to quickly reverse the pathological, cognitive and memory deficits of Alzheimer’s. Bexarotene has been approved for the treatment of cancer by the US FDA for more than a decade. Alzheimer’s disease arises in large part from the body’s inability to clear naturally-occurring amyloid beta from the brain. In 2008, Case Western Reserve researcher Gary Landreth discovered that the main cholesterol carrier in the brain, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), facilitated the clearance of the amyloid beta proteins. Landreth and his colleagues chose to explore the effectiveness of bexarotene for increasing ApoE expression. The elevation of brain ApoE levels, in turn, speeds the clearance of amyloid beta from the brain. Bexarotene acts by stimulating retinoid X receptors (RXR), which control how much ApoE is produced.

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