Alzheimer's drugs cause brain damage and actually worsen memory lossWednesday, April 21, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
The researchers combined several high tech methods to investigate nonamyloidogenic peptides that are formed by some drugs being tested as Alzheimer's therapies. UCSD nano-biophysicist Ratnesh Lal and his colleagues combined three dimensional computer simulations with high resolution atomic force microscopy membrane protein and cell imaging, electrical recording and various cellular assays to pinpoint the function of these substances.
The results showed that the peptides created active ion channels that caused brain cells to take in very high levels of calcium ions, eventually killing the very neurons needed for memory. To make matters worse, biomedical researchers have long considered these brain cell-killing nonamyloidogenic peptides to be non-toxic and targeted them as potential Alzheimer's treatments.