Alzheimer's drugs offer promise of treatment for other diseases

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Drugs used to potentially treat Alzheimer's disease may lead to advancements in the treatment of other afflictions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic researchers say that certain drugs - called gamma-secretase modulators (GSM) - affect the structure of the proteins they are designed to treat, instead of simply blocking the proteins from attaching themselves to cells. Until this point, it was not believed protein structures could be affected by drugs, according to senior researcher Todd Golde, M.D., Ph.D., and chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

Understanding how a drug works on a molecular level is important to the development of future drugs, researchers say. The findings of their studies on GSM drugs and the potential to advance drug treatments for Alzheimer's and other diseases are published in today's issue of Nature.

For more information, go to www.nature.com or http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org.