Drug May Prevent Alzheimer's, Slow Aging

SAN ANTONIO, April 2 (UPI) — A drug already approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to prevent organ rejection may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, researchers said.

Several weeks after researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio said the drug rapamycin helped mice engineered to develop Alzheimer’s to retain memory, the same researchers said the drug helped an entirely different mouse model engineered to have early Alzheimer’s disease to remember how to swim a maze.


“Rapamycin treatment lowered levels of amyloid-beta-42, a major toxic species of molecules in Alzheimer’s disease,” Veronica Galvan, an assistant professor from the Barshop Institute and the department of physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, said in a statement.

“These molecules, which stick to each other, are suspected to play a key role in the early memory failure of Alzheimer’s.”

The drug is produced by a bacterial product isolated from soil of Easter Island and last year the same researchers and colleagues found rapamycin was shown to extend life in mice.

The current findings are published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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