Johnson&Johnson has made a knight’s move, providing funds for a three-year study of down syndrome. It is expected that this work will help to identify early changes associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In the future there will be conducted extensive finding supported by other pharmaceutical manufacturers, government officials and human rights activists (scientists traced almost from birth for people with the syndrome, testing for drugs against dementia). The result should be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
In General the search for such a medication is a sensitive topic for pharmaceutical companies. For example, the last two major trials of drugs against Alzheimer’s disease – bapineuzumab and solanezumab failed. Experts fear that pharmaceutical companies may opt out of the development, if the government will not provide financial support.
In the current tests, experts plan to involve people with genetic mutations in order to know exactly what they will develop the disease and can catch it early. However, there are the following concerns: such mutations are observed only at several hundred families in the world. Maybe they tested the drugs will act differently to normal people.
But the dementia that develops in individuals with down syndrome, more like a normal dementia. In people with the inherited syndrome, a third copy of chromosome 21, which supports the gene behind the production of the precursor protein amyloid (associated with the development of deposits in Alzheimer’s disease).
In most cases, onset of the disease is associated with mutations in the gene for the precursor protein or the genes presenilin presenilin 1 and 2. People with the syndrome of dementia develops by the age of 30 due to the extra copies in the gene for the precursor protein. Tests on mice suggests that removing the extra copy of the gene the precursor protein, can rescue brain cells from death.
There is also reason to believe that the disease will trigger the inhibitors of beta-secretase. They give protein-precursor to fall apart, forming beta-amyloid protein. Such inhibitors are already developing company Eli Lilly&Co, Roche and Merck&Co.