Spicing Up Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery
Marguerite Prior, Ph.D.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by cognitive decline resulting from the progressive loss of nerve cells in areas of the brain responsible for memory. Despite extensive research there is currently no effective treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Our laboratory has developed a novel drug discovery scheme that uses living neurons grown in laboratory dishes to test new synthetic compounds for effectiveness at protecting brain cells. Based upon these assays, we have recently identified a very potent compound with strong potential to be an Alzheimer’s disease therapeutic by slowing disease progression through neuroprotection as well as providing rapid benefits to memory by reversing memory deficits. We are trying to get this drug into clinical trials in the near future.