Health

Drug Used by Organ Transplant Patients Prevents Alzheimer’s

A new medication to prevent, even reverse, Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered.

According to a scientific study, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, a drug taken by organ transplant patients in order to avoid organ rejection has also shown other benefits, such as the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

Dr. Luca Cicalese, professor in the Department of Surgery and Director of the Texas Transplant Center and Hepatobiliary Service, under the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), said, “Taken together, our results from these people confirm our notion that calcineurin inhibition has a protective effect on the development and possible progression and even reversal of Alzheimer’s disease,” She, along with a team of other experts, conducted research among organ transplant patients concerning their mental health.

These patients have been taking drugs that contain calcineurin-inhibiting ingredients.

Data shows that among those 2,644 patients, only 8 demonstrated signs of being demented. Compared to incidences of Alzheimer’s Disease among the general population, the research team discovered a very significant difference.

These data clearly show that the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s in our transplant patient group is significantly lower; in fact, almost absent when compared to national data from the general population, says Dr. Cicalese. “In patients over 65 years, 11 percent of the general population had dementia, compared with 1.02 percent of the study subjects. In Americans over 75 years, 15.3 percent of the population had dementia, compared with 0.6 percent of the study subjects.”

The activation of calcineurin, also known as protein phosphatase 2B, causes memory impairment, neuroinflammation, and neuronal death.

But, by taking calneurin-inhibiting drugs, the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia is minimized. Dr. Giulio Taglialatela of UTMB even further says, “Taken together, our results from these people confirm our notion that calcineurin inhibition has a protective effect on the development and possible progression and even reversal of Alzheimer’s.”

Sources:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/health/diseases-conditions/drug-to-treat-alzheimer-identified_1610220.html
http://www.utmbhealth.com/phy/Page.asp?PageID=PHY001850
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263462/