Catalan researchers develop gene therapy reversing memory loss in mice with early-stage Alzheimer's

April 23, 2014 06:57 PM | ACN

Scientists at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have found that an alteration of a neuronal gene program plays an essential role in the first stages of Alzheimer's disease and have developed a gene therapy which is effective on mice. The Catalan study occupies the front page of 'The Journal of Neuroscience'. Researchers have identified a new mechanism that regulates the expression of genes in the brain which are essential for the function of neuronal circuits involved in learning and memory. According to the new study, which was carried out by Dr. Carlos Saura's group at the UAB's Institute of Neurosciences (Institut de Neurociències), the alteration of a gene program mediating neuronal transmission and survival may underlie memory loss at early pathological stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Grífols and ACE Foundation to test an Alzheimer’s vaccine in January 2014

December 13, 2013 07:11 PM | ACN

The Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols and Barcelona’s Alzheimer Treatment&Research Center of Fundació ACE – a family charity – have announced that they will run tests of a vaccine against this neurodegenerative illness from January 2014. It will target 365 Alzheimer’s patients at mild and moderate stages of the illness. The first investigation project that ACE’s centre will host is called Ambar. The 365 participants will be randomly divided into three treatment groups plus a fourth control group. The patients will come from 17 Spanish hospitals and 20 United States’ medical centres. From 1996, the ACE Foundation has evaluated more than 14,000 people, 47% of whom were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It has the largest bank of genetic data in Europe.