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Snake venom shapes as antidote for Alzheimer’s

by • March 20, 2016 • No Comments

A viper’s venom may usually be a thing to steer clear of if you are at all concerned of your health, but new research suggests it may in fact boost the wellbeing of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Australian scientists have found a molecule in this predator’s poison which slows the onset of Alzheimer’s, working to break down plaques in the brain which lead to dementia and typify the condition.

A protein known as amyloid beta is idea to be the main culprit behind Alzheimer’s disease. In healthy folks enzymes clear these proteins away effortlessly, but in Alzheimer’s sufferers these enzymes don’t perform as required, leaving the amyloid beta plaque to accumulate and injure the synapses major to symptoms such as memory loss.

Scientists around the world have been searching for ways to slow down or halt this system, uncovering effortless molecules, debris-clearing proteins and antibody-releasing implants which, with additional development, may come to the rescue. As part of this collective effort, a team at Australia’s Monash University were looking specifically for molecules which may boost the activity of the plaque-degrading enzymes.

Led by Dr Sanjaya Kuruppu, the team screened different types of snake venoms and came across one molecule in which of a Bothrops asper pit viper of South and Central America which stimulated two key plaque-fighting enzymes. The scientists in addition made a synthetic option of the molecule and carried out testing in the lab on human cells, finding it to be equally effective.

This is not the initially time the venom of a South American viper has generated a promising drug candidate. Last year researchers created a hydrogel which, when infused with the snake’s venom, may be injected into a injure to shut down bleeding in a matter of seconds.

The Monash team future plans to test out the molecule on mouse models of Alzheimer’s. Its latest research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Source: Monash University

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