Imagine if we could say, Remember Alzheimer's?
Now imagine being part of the team that makes that happen.
Researchers at the University of Alberta Hospital believe they have found a way to restore memory for people with Alzheimer's disease. The disease that is currently afflicting 75,000 Albertans, plus family members and caregivers who must bear the excruciating toll of the long, slow deterioration of the mind of a loved one.
As with all research, lack of funding is an issue. That's where you come in.
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The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that mice with Alzheimer’s disease showed considerable memory improvement after receiving daily injections of a particular string of amino acids, or peptide, for five weeks.
Dr. Jack Jhamandas, the lead investigator of the project, reports that after the five weeks, there was less amyloid plaque buildup and inflammation in the brains of the mice. “This was very interesting and exciting because it showed us that not only was memory being improved in the mice, but signs of brain pathology in Alzheimer’s disease were also greatly improved.”
“I’ve spent over 20 years of my career as a clinician scientist pursuing a discovery like this,” said Jhamandas, a neurologist and researcher at the University of Alberta Hospital, and Distinguished Professor in the Division of Neurology at the University of Alberta.
“This is like hitting a home run. Our findings confirmed that we’re definitely on to something here.”
Teamed with renowned University of Alberta virologists Dr. Lorne Tyrell and 2020 Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Michael Houghton, Jhamandas is now developing a small molecule drug in a pill form that’s based upon the amino acid compound (peptide) that worked so well on the mice. This is the final phase before clinical trials on humans can begin.
Their timing could not be better. As Alberta’s population ages, the projected increase of Alzheimer’s disease continues to soar. The same can be said for Canada, and around the world. “If you think the impact of Alzhemer’s disease is bad now, wait until 20 years from now. It will be devastating.”