Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology, which currently affects over 26 million individuals worldwide, is characterized by amyloid-beta (Aβ) containing plaques and neurofibrillary tangles composed of neurofilament and hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Aβ has been demonstrated to be neurotoxic in numerous studies and appears to be responsible for initiating the memory loss associated with AD.
Decreasing Aβ plaque load would presumably reduce the pathology and cognitive difficulties associated with this disease. Aβ levels can be controlled by one or more methods, including regulating amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene expression, regulating APP processing to form Aβ, and controlling or causing Aβ degradation.
Treatments of mammals with thyroid hormone result in down-regulating APP gene expression, possibly via a negative response element in the APP gene. It is also thought that zinc and CHP (Cyclo(His-Pro) a cyclic dipeptide, which is ubiquitous in the central nervous system and is a key substrate of organic cation transporters and is strongly linked to neuroprotection, causes increased activation of the insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) that causes increased Aβ degradation.
Such therapies may be used for the treatment of AD or dementia. Thus, two biologically safe treatment strategies, which reduce the formation of Aβ, enhance endogenous metabolism of Aβ in vivo, and improve spatial memory, have been developed.
Building on this knowledge, scientists at the Department of Veterans Affairs have formulated a combined composition comprising a thyroid hormone (CHP), and a zinc salt. Such compositions may be used to treat AD, dementia, metabolic syndrome and cerebrovascular diseases. The formulation causes an increased serum level of insulin-degrading enzyme and a decrease in the serum level of Aβ protein. The result is zinc plus Cyclo(His-Pro) that may be beneficial in both reducing Aβ levels and increasing memory function.
- Biologically safe treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Efficacy shown in a mouse model
- Businesses can productize the research by licensing US patent 10,058,520 from the VA
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