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A new method of scientists from Tyumen State University in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

August 28, 2020

A team of scientists from Tyumen State University and the National University of Singapore managed to adjust the biological purification system of neurons to restore memory. This method has great potential for treating Alzheimer's disease.

In fact, there are no methods of preventing and getting rid of this disease, which irreversibly destroys neural connections. Nevertheless, science community is constantly looking for ways to stop and possibly weaken this syndrome.

Scientists from Tyumen State University (Project 5-100 member) in collaboration with one of the most recognized researchers of memory – Prof. Sajikumar Sreedharan from the National University of Singapore conducted an experiment to influence the quality control system of neurons, the so-called "ubiquitin-proteasome system" (UPS) for memory recovery in animal models with Alzheimer's disease, which has been very successful and promising.

The fact is that neurons constantly produce the so-called "garbage", which is formed due to various biological processes. If the "cleaning" system fails, waste accumulates and the brain malfunctions.

The proteasome is one of the main protein complexes that utilize neuronal garbage. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is an intracellular quality control mechanism that rejects defective proteins or processes them into new ones. In case of disturbances in the UPS system, spent proteins accumulate and form a kind of "dump", taking up the place normally intended for new synthesized proteins (memories). Neural connections break down, a synaptic failure occurs, which can spread to different parts of the brain.

As Krishna Kumar explained (a researcher of the School for Advanced Study of Tyumen State University): “To restore long-term memory and eliminate memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease, we used two popular UPS inhibitors (lactacystin and MG132). We achieved this by regulating the homeostasis of intracellular plasticity proteins”.

The peculiarity of the study lies in the fact that scientists managed to influence the UPS system affected by Alzheimer's disease, namely to suspend its disrupted work. The pause promoted the accumulation of memory proteins PKMzeta in hippocampal neurons. The success of memory regeneration has been confirmed at various levels. The results of the experiments are published in the journal FASEB.

According to experts, such manipulations will allow in the future to reanimate patient’s ong-term memory. If subsequent trials also approve the effectiveness of UPS inhibitors, the Alzheimer's disease will be curable.