The Arizona Bioindustry Association recently published an article stating that researchers at Arizona University are now proceeding to a Phase 2b clinical trial for a newly developed therapy for Alzheimer’s. The drug, allopregnanolone (brexanolone), is a naturally produced steroid. It assists with connectivity between the neural networks that are required to establish cognitive function.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. It is listed as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease causing the loss of cognitive function.
Allopregnanolone, or allo, is currently in use by women who have postpartum depression. Allo is injected into a vein while medically supervised for a sixty-hour period. It is sold under the brand name Zulresso.
Note, however, that the newly developed low dose Alzheimer’s method is administered once each week. Therefore, it will not require the same prolonged hospital stay that is associated with postpartum treatment.
Phase 1 trial results showed a favorable safety profile without any of the usual brain bleeds that accompanied other experimental Alzheimer’s treatments. MRI imaging of Alzheimer’s patients treated with allo showed regenerative responses. A treatment regimen and optimal dose were also established.
Detecting Early Alzheimer’s
A Johns Hopkins study from its Wilmer Eye Institute found that it is possible to measure blood flow behind the eye as a method of gauging Alzheimer’s in its early stages.
In addition, the researchers at Arizona University believe allo has the potential to treat a series of pro-inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, endometriosis, Parkinson’s, and macular degeneration.
PPIs and Alzheimer’s
Researchers have found that the commonly used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used for disorders such as gastritis, stomach ulcers, and heartburn may have a significant role in Alzheimer’s and other such conditions. The PPIs affect the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that activates muscles and helps with short-term memory and learning.
And as proof that researchers are slowly zeroing in on the cause of dementia, a study from the University of Texas in Dallas identified an early indicator that measures the energy metabolism of the human brain using cutting-edge imaging techniques.