Reading a nearly forgotten antibiotic could help in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. The remedy in mice degraded the protein deposits in the brain, which are typical of the nervous condition. In younger rodents, US researchers using the active ingredient cliochinolin even managed to completely eliminate the so-called plaques in the brain.

The animals were genetically engineered as models of Alzheimer's disease, which begins with memory disorders and deprives a person of all mental and physical abilities over the course of years. A US team led by Ashley Bush from Harvard University in Boston now presented the promising animal experiments with Cliochinolin at a conference in New Orleans, the US Society of Neurosciences reported on Monday. The drug will also be tested on 50 Alzheimer's patients. It had been prescribed in the US until 30 years ago, but then withdrawn from the market on suspicion of a rare neurological condition.

Cliochinolin binds two metals that "decorate" the protein deposits in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, as Bush calls it. The remedy binds the traces of copper and zinc from the plaques, apparently paving the way for their degradation. The US team sees this as an indication that the Alzheimer's brain can "heal" and get rid of the sticky surface. The treated mice also had significantly better results in behavioral tests than other non-treated animals.

dpa and bdw

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