According to an article from Newswire, the Alzheimer’s Association is awarding Elixiron Immunotherapeutics one million dollars for work on their Alzheimer’s treatment, EI1071. This money will go towards a clinical trial of the drug.
About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes the degeneration and death of brain cells. It occurs in stages, with severity increasing as time goes on. In the later stages of the disease, people will experience significant memory loss and be unable to carry out everyday tasks. The major symptom of this condition is memory loss. Other issues that people experience include problems with thinking and reasoning, making judgments and decisions, planning and completing familiar tasks, and more. They will experience changes in personality and behavior. Other complications can also arise from Alzheimer’s, such as aspiration, pneumonia, infections, falls, fractures, bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration.
Medical professionals believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. What healthcare professionals do know is that brain cells deteriorate and die. They also suspect that plaques and tangles, which are both proteins, play an important role. There are risk factors that may heighten the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Age is a major factor, as people usually develop this condition after 65. If one has a relative that is affected, they are also at a higher risk. Females are also affected at a higher rate than males. Those with past head trauma, poor sleeping patterns, poor exercise patterns, or other unhealthy lifestyle habits have a higher chance of Alzheimer’s disease.
Doctors will typically diagnose Alzheimer’s disease after a finding of characteristic symptoms. Tests will be used to confirm a diagnosis, such as a physical and neurological exam and brain imaging, like MRIs and CT scans. After it is confirmed that one has Alzheimer’s, treatment typically consists of cholinesterase inhibitors and memamtine.
EI1071 for Alzheimer’s
EI1071 is a Colony-Stimulating Factor 1 Receptor (CSF1R) inhibitor that can be taken orally. CSF1R signalling is needed for activated microglia, which is a culprit of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. If successful, this medication could stop the inflammation in the brain and slow disease progression.
A number of animal models have been used to evaluate EI1071, and the next step is a clinical trial. That is what the grant money will go towards. As microglia has been found to play roles in other diseases, such as Parkinson’s and ALS, this treatment could not only better the lives of Alzheimer’s patients, but many other rare disease patients.