Arthritis Protection Could Hold Key to Alzheimer's Drug
RHEUMATOID arthritis sufferers have a built-in protection against Alzheimer's that could soon become a promising new treatment for the brain disease, it was revealed yesterday.
The protein GM-CSF plays a role in the defective immune system response that leads to the arthritic disorder.
But it also marshals the immune system to remove harmful deposits in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer's.
Tests on mice showed that the protein could reverse Alzheimer's symptoms in just 20 days.
Scientists, who say they are "amazed" at the finding, believe the discovery could quickly lead to a practical new treatment for Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia.
A laboratory-made version of GM-CSF called Leukine has been used for years to boost the immune systems of certain cancer patients.
Because its safety profile is already well known, it should not take long to convert into an Alzheimer's therapy.
The US scientists, from the Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute at Florida State University, are now planning a pilot trial later this year that will put the theory to the test. …