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New drug SAK3 may offer hope to Alzheimer's disease patients

Date:
January 26, 2017
Source:
Tohoku University
Summary:
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays an important role in controlling attention and cognition. Acetylcholine system dysfunction is believed to be one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia.
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FULL STORY

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays an important role in controlling attention and cognition. Acetylcholine system dysfunction is believed to be one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia.

Now, a new drug that could treat Alzheimer's disease, SAK3, has been developed by a Japanese research group led by Tohoku University Professor Kohji Fukunaga.

In their study, the researchers found that the T-type calcium channel enhancer, SAK3, stimulates the release of acetylcholine in the brain and improves cognition by activating the memory molecule CaMKII. According to Professor Fukunaga, SAK3 also reduces the production of amyloid beta protein in the study's model mice. This, he says, could lead to the development of the first disease-modifying drug to prevent mild to severe Alzheimer disease.

SAK3 is now in the preclinical stage of drug development, and has so far proven to be safe and well-tolerated in animal experiments. Clinical trials are expected to begin in the next few years.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Tohoku University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yasushi Yabuki, Kazuya Matsuo, Hisanao Izumi, Hidaka Haga, Takashi Yoshida, Minoru Wakamori, Akira Kakehi, Kenji Sakimura, Takaichi Fukuda, Kohji Fukunaga. Pharmacological properties of SAK3, a novel T-type voltage-gated Ca2 channel enhancer. Neuropharmacology, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.01.011

Cite This Page:

Tohoku University. "New drug SAK3 may offer hope to Alzheimer's disease patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170126103413.htm>.
Tohoku University. (2017, January 26). New drug SAK3 may offer hope to Alzheimer's disease patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170126103413.htm
Tohoku University. "New drug SAK3 may offer hope to Alzheimer's disease patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170126103413.htm (accessed February 22, 2017).