The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on Dec. 9 that its research team led by Dr. Kim Young-soo and head of its Brain Science Institute Kim Dong-jin developed a new drug candidate of EPPS. “The EPPS can remove beta-amyloid, which is a protein causing Alzheimer's dementia, from the human brain and can treat dementia symptoms such as memory loss,” it explained, adding, “We have actually confirmed the effect of toxic protein removal in a test on mice.”
According to the research team, the EPPS turns the beta-amyloid protein aggregating in the brain of a patient into a non-toxic monomer and can permeate blood vessel walls, which means it allows intake in the form of a liquid requiring no specific administration procedure.
In the test, the team fed the EPPS dissolved in water to mice with Alzheimer's for three months and found that most of the beta-amyloid aggregations in the portions of their brains controlling their cognitive functions disappeared and that the cognitive capabilities of the mice were significantly recovered. “Neuroinflammation, a symptom of Alzheimer's dementia, disappeared along with the GABA secretion that causes brain function deteriorations,” it said.
At present, the research team is engaged in preclinical and clinical studies so that the EPPS can be deemed as a drug. At the same time, it is working on a technique using the material in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Details of the research are available in the Nature Communications.