APNS sees abnormal cell division as possible precursor of Alzheimer's disease

06/20/05

Company's founding scientist publishes findings in highly regarded scientific journal

Vernon Hills, IL, June 20, 2005 -- A group of researchers led by Applied NeuroSolutions' (OTC BB: APNS; www.appliedneurosolutions.com) founding scientist Dr. Peter Davies, have identified an abnormal type of cell division that appears to be a critical part of the chain of events that results in Alzheimer's disease (AD).

As reported in the current issue of "The Journal of Neuroscience", Dr. Davies and his colleagues studied mice that were genetically engineered to develop an Alzheimer's disease pathology to try to find out what causes the onset of AD and neuronal death. They determined that an inappropriate expression of cell cycle proteins may lead to catastrophic changes in cell structure and neuronal death. Under a long-term agreement with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Applied NeuroSolutions has exclusive licensing rights to commercialize Dr. Davies' Alzheimer's related discoveries.

"We believe we are making significant progress in determining what causes brain cell abnormalities and results in Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Davies, who is the Judith and Burton P. Resnick Professor of Alzheimer's Disease Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in The Bronx.

"This is important research that advances the search for the primary cause of AD," noted Dr. John DeBernardis, President and CEO of Applied NeuroSolutions. "As we look at what causes these neuronal cells to re-enter the cell cycle, the Company has embarked upon a promising path that could result in a lead compound to stop this process before it has a chance to develop into Alzheimer's disease."

In Alzheimer's disease, neurons undergo degeneration in the brains of affected patients, which eventually leads to neuronal death. Researchers had determined earlier that neurofibrillary tangles, one of the defining pathologies of the disease, are not the only cause of neural death. In this study, researchers set out to pinpoint the other reasons neurons were dying. In a study of mice genetically engineered to develop neurofibrillary tangles, they observed that neurons abnormally expressed cell cycle proteins, which are a prerequisite to cell division. This process does not occur in the "healthy" adult brain, but is prominent in brains of patients with AD.

"We know that neurofibrillary tangles do not appear to be the only cause of cell death in Alzheimer's disease," observed Dr. Davies. "We now believe we have identified another possible cause: abnormalities occurring in tau proteins that may activate a cascade of abnormal events. All of this takes place long before clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's are apparent."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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