During the upcoming World Alzheimer Day, the German MDR radio will feature the efforts by German biotechnology company Probiodrug to develop novel strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). MDR’s FIGARO am Vormittag morning magazine will introduce the company’s hypothesis on the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and highlight the latest research results published by Probiodrug and co-workers from German and US research institutions in the recent Journal of Neuroscience.
It is well known that the presence of so-called beta-amyloid (A beta) plaques in the brain is not necessarily correlated with the occurrence of AD. Probiodrug discovered that in AD patients, the core of the plaques is made form a certain variant of the A beta peptide which is more neurotoxic, less soluble and able to rapidly aggregate with modified and unmodified A beta. Further investigations revealed that this toxic variant is generated by an enzyme called QC (glutaminyl cyclase). QC is responsible for activating certain hormones and enzymes in the brain by modifying a certain chemical group in these molecules. If it starts acting on A beta, it produces the toxic variant. Probiodrug also has demonstrated in various experiments that it is possible to prevent the formation or spread of toxic A beta plaques by switching off the QC enzyme. The company therefore is developing drugs to inhibit the enzyme as a potential treatment strategy to either prevent the onset of AD or slow down the progression of the disease.