Blocking One Enzyme Dramatically Reverses Alzheimer's in Mice

“I don’t think there has ever been a better time to think that we will have interventions for Alzheimer's.”

Young woman medical researcher looking through microscop slide in the life science

(WAYHOME studio /

Science, and especially medical science, is a long and tedious process, marked by countless tests and verifications to ensure the correctness of the scientists' work. Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic just proved again why this method is so rewarding, when they discovered an experimental treatment that completely reversed Alzheimer’s disease in mice.

When the team slowly reduced levels of just a single enzyme called BACE1, they saw an almost complete reversal of the deposition of amyloid plaques found in brains of those with Alzheimer's, which improved cognitive functions in the mouse subjects.

While the promising research findings, published Feb. 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, offer a glimpse of hope for those with Alzheimers, Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine told Newsweek stressed that it might still be too early to celebrate.

“The completely other side of the coin is that 99 percent of all clinical drug trials [for Alzheimer’s disease] have failed, and we don’t know why,” said Isaacson, who was not involved in the new study. “Maybe amyloid [plaque buildups] isn’t the right target.”

Dr. Daniel Franc, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, said that regardless of whether this exact study can be successfully translated to humans, the results are still important.

“I would say that this is an incremental finding. It’s not revolutionary, but it does add further support to current ongoing approaches,” said Franc, adding that the research simply gives him hope that we are on the right path to finding a viable treatment.

“I don’t think there has ever been a better time to think that we will have interventions for Alzheimer's.”

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