Korean researchers have identified a chemical (EPPS) which appears to be capable of clearing amyloid plaques from the brains of transgenic mice. The amount of plaques present in these animals’ brains was reduced in treated mice, and the treated mice performed better in tests designed to measure their learning and memory skills.
Note: Further research is required to establish whether these interesting early findings have any potential significance for treatment options in humans; there is no proof yet that a similar approach would work for people. The exact role of amyloid plaques in certain forms of dementia remains hypothetical, and some speculate that the presence of such plaques in human brains may be a sign of irreversible damage already; it appearing perhaps “too far down the chain of molecular processes [for its removal] to be beneficial”.
Molecule clears Alzheimer’s plaques in mice. London: BBC Health News, December 8th 2015.
Molecule removes Alzheimer’s plaques from brains of mice. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, December 9th 2015.
This relates to:
Kim, HY. Kim, HV. [and] Jo, S. [et al] (2015). EPPS rescues hippocampus-dependent cognitive deficits in APP/PS1 mice by disaggregation of amyloid-β oligomers and plaques. Nature Communications. December 8th 2015; 6: 8997.