After nearly a decade of research, scientists from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, have developed a molecule that could be a potential drug candidate to halt or cure the leading cause of dementia (70-80 per cent) worldwide. The research has been published in the journal Advanced Therapeutics.
About 5-6 per cent of individuals between the ages of 65-70 years in India suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a neuro degenerative condition which is incurable. However, a recent trend has been observed where people in their 30s or 40s are also developing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a cause of worry.
In such a dismal scenario, the study by the JNCASR, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is a ray of hope for many.
As per the study, Dr T Govindaraju, Professor, JNCASR, and his team designed and synthesised molecules which can reduce the toxicity of-amyloid peptide—that accumulates in the central nervous system. “The molecule, called TGR63, can rescue neuronal cells from amyloid toxicity. We saw that the molecule helped in reducing the clumping and slowly reversing the cognitive decline,” claimed Dr Govindaraju.
He pointed out that the experiment was carried out on mice with and without Alzheimer’s disease. “Mice brain affected with Alzheimer’s showed a significant reduction of amyloid deposits when treated with TGR63. The mice also showed reduction in learning deficiency, memory impairment and cognitive decline as revealed by distinct behavioural tests.
These key attributes have validated the potential of TGR63 as a promising drug candidate, he said. “We are looking for pharmaceutical companies to fund our project to start clinical trials,” Dr Govindaraju said.