PARIS: Scientists on Thursday said they had a drug that in mice helped prevent prion disease and may also work on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain disorders that share a similar mechanism.
Still at a very early and experimental stage, the drug blocks disruption of the brain's defence system, something that boosts neurodegenerative disease.
Many of these crippling and tragic diseases start with the buildup of rogue, scrunched-up proteins in the brain.
The organ's response to this is to switch on a defence mechanism called the unfolded protein response, or UPR.
The mechanism orders cells to stop producing new proteins so that the problem is not worsened.
But the buildup of misshapen proteins prevents the UPR mechanism from being switched off.
As a result, the misshapen proteins are no longer made -- but nor are normal proteins that are essential for brain-cell survival. Neurons start to die, are not replenished, and the disease progresses......
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