Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Bradeis University devised an entirely new approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Using computer-based virtual screening, the team identified a new class of compounds called pharmacologic chaperones. These compounds can significantly increase retromer levels and decrease amyloid-beta levels (a by-product thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s) in cultured hippocampal neurons, without apparent cell toxicity.
“Our findings identify a novel class of pharmacologic agents that are designed to treat neurologic disease by targeting a defect in cell biology, rather than a defect in molecular biology,” senior author Scott Small, MD, the Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology, was quoted as saying. “This approach may prove to be safer and more effective than conventional treatments for neurologic disease, which typically target single proteins.”