Login / Register

Username:


Password: [Lost?]



New User? Click here for your FREE subscription



Pharmacists
Pharmacists Pharmacists

Follow Us


NEWS-Line on Twitter NEWS-Line on Facebook NEWS-Line on Google+ NEWS-Line on LinkedIn NEWS-Line on Pinterest


Pharmacist Conferences &
Educational Opportunities



July 10 - 12

19th Annual Primary Care Focus Symposium

Baptist Health South Florida Continuing Medical Education

Dec. 6 - 10

ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

More Events

DNA "Scissors" Could Cut Out the Alzheimer's Causing Gene in Mice | NEWS-Line for Radiology Professionals
 


DNA "Scissors" Could Cut Out the Alzheimer's Causing Gene in Mice


Source:

Scientists at Dongguk University successfully treated Alzheimer's disease in mice using the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. They used the tool to edit out the Alzheimer's causing gene in the mice, thereby improving their memory and other cognitive functions. While this is only a first step and much research remains to be done, these promising results put gene therapy on the map of possible treatments for Alzheimer's.

As Alzheimer's disease continues to elude the efforts of modern medicine, scientists turn to gene editing technology to treat, or 'manage' it. Alzheimer's is commonly associated with the BACE 1 gene, which drives the production of amyloid-β proteins in the brain. In the brains of Alzheimer's patients, this protein accumulates on the outsides of neurons or nerve cells as "plaque," and is thought to be one of the main causes of the disease. Using "DNA scissors" called CRISPR-Cas9, which can cut out a specified part of a DNA sequence, Dr. Jongpil Kim and his colleagues from Korea (Dongguk University) and the USA attempted to edit out the BACE 1 gene in the neurons of the adult mouse brain.

Theirs is the first in vivo attempt (using cells inside living mice) to test the effectiveness of CRISPR-Cas9 in stopping Alzheimer's progression. Their ultimate ambition—like that of many others in the field—is to develop treatments for different forms of dementia, which would dramatically improve patients' quality of life. "We aimed to see whether CRISPR-Cas9, one of the latest developments in biotechnology, can open up a new direction for treating dementia, which is, at present, considered an incurable disease," Dr. Kim says.

Their results indeed look promising. Within 8 to 12 weeks of treatment with the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, the plaque surrounding affected neurons in the mice dramatically decreased and their cognitive functions improved substantially. The mice also showed better associative learning and spatial working memory. Further, there was no evidence of increasing mutations in other, non-targeted parts of the genome, suggesting minimal side-effects.

All this indicates the huge potential of gene editing technologies to treat neurodegenerative diseases: by removing faulty genes at their source, disease progression can be halted, or even reversed, in just a few weeks.

The authors advise caution, however, as gene editing cannot be undone. In Dr. Kim's words, one must ensure that "no detrimental, and potentially very rare, genomic alterations are caused". Thus, this technique requires much more research before it can be applied to human subjects.

Nonetheless, as another remark by Dr. Kim goes, "this study shows how CRISPR-Cas9 can be applied to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases as well."

Reference

Author: Jongpil Kim

Title of original paper: In vivo neuronal gene editing via CRISPR–Cas9 amphiphilic nanocomplexes alleviates deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease

Journal: Nature Neuroscience

DOI: 10.1038/s41593-019-0352-0

Affiliations: Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, Dongguk University

SOURCE: Dongguk University




Post not cached because it doesn't exist


Share This!


Pharmacist Jobs



NAVY MEDICINE - Making a Difference

NAVY MEDICINE
National

NAVY MEDICINE - Making a Difference

NAVY MEDICINE
New York

Pharmacy Manager

Redner's Warehouse Markets
Hegins, Pennsylvania

Staff Pharmacist

LTC Pharmacy Services
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Clinical Research Pharmacist Level III – Longwood

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

Pharmacy Manager

Redner's Warehouse Markets
Hegins, Pennsylvania

More Jobs
(Dismiss) Thank you for visiting NEWS-Line! Please sign up, login, or follow us on your favorite social networks
to receive custom tailored eNews, job listings, and educational opportunities for your specific profession.