New compound inhibits cognitive impairment in animal models of Alzheimer's disease

November 13, 2013

Arlington, Va. -- The novel compound IRL-1620 may be useful in treating Alzheimer's disease (AD) as it has been shown to prevent cognitive impairment and oxidative stress in animal models. This research is being presented at the 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, the world's largest pharmaceutical sciences meeting, in San Antonio, Nov. 10-14.

AD is a form of dementia that worsens over time, leading to a slow decline in cognitive functions and affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. More than 5 million Americans are living with AD, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Anil Gulati, M.D., Ph.D., FCP, and Seema Briyal, Ph.D., along with their colleagues from Midwestern University, administered Amyloid beta (Aβ), a main component of certain deposits located in AD patients' brains, to normal and diabetic rats on days 1, 7, and 14. Spatial learning and memory were tested in a Morris water maze. The pool was divided into four equal quadrants, and an escape platform was hidden below the surface at a fixed location in one of the quadrants.

The rats had to find the platform within 60 seconds. The average time it took on day 4 for Aβ-treated rats to locate the platform was 55.05 seconds, though a majority of this group was not able to find it in the designated time. Aβ rats treated with IRL-1620 were able to locate the platform in 26.53 seconds, nearly half the time. After five days, Aβ rats treated with IRL-1620 showed a 60 percent improvement in learning and memory.

"Our research is based on the idea of using the Endothelin (ET) system in the treatment of AD," said Gulati. "The ET system is traditionally known to play a role in the regulation of blood flow. This is important in the potential treatment of AD since disturbances in blood flow could damage the brain's ability to clear damaging particles, leading to a build-up of toxic substances and cognitive impairment."

The next stage of Gulati's research is to further investigate the endothelin receptor type B's mechanisms of neuroprotection and to look into possible resulting tissue changes following AD.

The FDA has approved five medications to treat the symptoms of AD. Current drugs help mask the symptoms but do not treat the underlying disease. A breakthrough Alzheimer's treatment would target the underlying disease and stop or delay the cell damage that eventually leads to the worsening of symptoms.
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The 2013 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition aims to improve global health through advances in pharmaceutical sciences, and there will be 480 exhibits and an estimated 8,000 attendees. The meeting features nearly 105 programming sessions, including more than 50 symposia and roundtables. Download the AAPS smartphone application for additional information.

Editor's Note: All press must provide press credentials to attend this meeting and register on-site in the press room #213. To schedule an interview with Dr. Gulati or for any other press inquiry, please contact Hillarie Turner or Dana Korsen at aaps@ecius.net or 202-296-2002. For the most up-to-date program information, please click here.

Images are available upon request.

About AAPS: The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists is a professional, scientific association of approximately 11,000 members employed in academia, industry, government and other research institutes worldwide. Founded in 1986, AAPS provides a dynamic international forum for the exchange of knowledge among scientists to serve the public and enhance their contributions to health. AAPS offers timely scientific programs, on-going education, information resources, opportunities for networking, and professional development. For more information, please visit http://www.aaps.org. Follow us on Twitter @AAPSComms; official Twitter hashtag for the meeting is: #AAPS2013.

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists

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