Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Transplant anti-rejection drug protects against Alzheimer's, study says

UPI | Stephen Feller

A drug used to prevent transplant patient's bodies from rejecting their new organs may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Photo by Fresnel/Shutterstock

GALVESTON, Texas, June 8 (UPI) -- A drug that suppresses the immune system to prevent transplant patient's bodies from rejecting their new organs may prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers made the discovery while reviewing data that showed that dementia and Alzheimer's occur among transplant patients at much lower rates than in the general population.

Calcineurin, an enzyme that regulates communication between brain cells and memory formation, plays a major role in the formation of toxic protein aggregates that target and disrupt the brain cells responsible for memory among Alzheimer's patients.

"These data clearly show that the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's in our transplant patient group is significantly lower, in fact almost absent, when compared to national data from the general population," Luca Cicalese, a professor in the department of surgery, said in a press release. Continue reading

 

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