Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and Itender Singh, Ph.D.
Researchers have taken another crack at a promising approach to stopping Alzheimer's disease that encountered a major hurdle
last year. In research published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation,
scientists have developed a compound that targets a molecular actor known as RAGE,
which plays a central role in mucking up the brain tissue of people with the disease.
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of Southern California synthesized a compound that stops
RAGE in mice - reversing amyloid deposits, restoring healthy blood flow in the
brain, squelching inflammation, and making old, sick mice smarter. But the scientists caution that the work has a long way to go before it's
considered as a possible treatment in people.
In the latest work, Zlokovic and colleagues screened thousands of compounds for
anti-RAGE activity and identified three that seemed promising. Then the team turned
to chemists Benjamin Miller, Ph.D., and graduate student Nathan Ross. The pair analyzed the compounds' molecular
structures, then used that knowledge to create dozens of candidates likely to have activity against RAGE.