S. L. Baker
April 21, 2010
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Big Pharma drugs that are being used on humans right now and promoted as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could cause the very brain damage and memory loss they are supposed to treat. That’s the conclusion of University of California at San Diego (UCSD) scientists who just published their groundbreaking findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers combined several high tech methods to investigate nonamyloidogenic peptides that are formed by some drugs being tested as Alzheimer’s therapies. UCSD nano-biophysicist Ratnesh Lal and his colleagues combined three dimensional computer simulations with high resolution atomic force microscopy membrane protein and cell imaging, electrical recording and various cellular assays to pinpoint the function of these substances.
The results showed that the peptides created active ion channels that caused brain cells to take in very high levels of calcium ions, eventually killing the very neurons needed for memory. To make matters worse, biomedical researchers have long considered these brain cell-killing nonamyloidogenic peptides to be non-toxic and targeted them as potential Alzheimer’s treatments.