Drug cures Alzheimer's symptoms in mice, Yale researchers find

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A drug compound successfully reversed the effects of Alzheimer's disease in mice, researchers say, giving hope to developers trying to find a cure.

Researchers from Yale School of Medicine discovered that the compound TC-2153 prevented a particular protein from impairing learning and memory functions

Lead author Paul J. Lombroso, M.D., discovered the striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) protein 25 years ago. Since then, past research has shown that high levels of STEP proteins contribute to the cognitive deficiencies of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases by interfering with synaptic strengthening, Lombroso and his colleagues noted.

Results showed that a single dose was enough to reverse the effects of Alzheimer's — enabling mice to learn and to recall motor skills, spatial information, signals and object memory.

While many drugs have failed to work in humans, Lombroso is “optimistic that in the next couple of years, we will have identified a whole slew of STEP inhibitors,” he told Newsweek.

Lombroso is a professor in the Yale Child Study Center and in the departments of neurobiology and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.

Findings appeared in Aug. 5 issue of the journal PLoS Biology. To access the complete study, click here.