A newly discovered antibody treatment has been shown to stop a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease from accumulating in the brains of mice. Drs. David Holtzman and Marc Diamond of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis sifted through numerous antibodies to isolate those that could prevent the uptake and aggregation of tau proteins. The researchers identified 3 so-called anti-tau antibodies, which they then infused into a mouse model of a neurodegenerative disease called frontotemporal dementia. Results showed that the anti-tau antibodies significantly reduced tau accumulation and improved cognitive deficits in the animals, whilst a control antibody not directed against tau had no beneficial effects. "Similar tau pathology is seen in Alzheimer's disease, implying that this could be an exciting treatment for a large number of patients." Said Dr Holtzman.
K Yanamandra, N Kfoury, H Jiang, TE Mahan, S Ma, SE Maloney, et al. "Anti-tau antibodies that block tau aggregate seeding in vitro markedly decrease pathology and improve cognition in vivo." Neuron. 2013, September 25.
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