Decoding Alzheimer's: The New Frontier of Care, Compassion, and Cure
Navigating Alzheimer's challenges with science and technology
As we chase the dream of longevity, the shadow of Alzheimer's looms large, an enigma that challenges our brightest minds.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating neurological disorder that primarily affects memory and cognitive functions, and its risk and impact aggravate with age.
With its gradual and irreversible progression, it poses numerous difficulties for both patients and their loved ones. More importantly, we still haven’t developed an effective way to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s without causing serious side effects.
What Is Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits—such as beta-amyloid plaques (Amyloid-β) and tau tangles (ptau)—in the brain.
Think of your brain as a bustling metropolis—New York City at rush hour. Now, imagine unexpected roadblocks in the form of broken-down vehicles, creating chaos, making it difficult for information to flow. In your brain, these broken-down vehicles would be the abnormal protein deposits.
These deposits interfere with the communication between nerve cells and lead to their eventual death. As a result, the brain's functions, especially those related to memory, thinking, and behavior, are profoundly affected.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer's often include mild memory loss, difficulty in performing routine tasks, confusion, disorientation, and mood changes. As the disease progresses, individuals may experience severe memory impairment, language difficulties, and even challenges in recognizing loved ones.
Ultimately, Alzheimer's can lead to dementia, a loss of independence, and the need for round-the-clock care.
Now, while ptau and Amyloid-β have been the dominant focus of research on Alzheimer’s pathophysiology, other mechanisms are involved as well. As the risk of Alzheimer’s increases with age, age-related processes like mitochondrial dysfunction, neural vascular aging, chronic inflammation, and astrocyte aging are other potential factors in the complex changes in brain functions that occur over the decades preceding Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
These factors suggest that many biochemical pathways should be altered simultaneously for a more successful treatment of Alzheimer’s.
The Problem with Alzheimer's Treatment: Current Approaches and Challenges
While researchers have made significant strides in understanding the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease, effective treatments that can halt or reverse its progression remain elusive.
Current treatment approaches primarily focus on managing symptoms and slowing down the disease's progression, often through medications that target neurotransmitter imbalances. These medications, such as cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, may help improve cognitive function and temporarily alleviate some symptoms.
However, they are far from perfect and come with their share of challenges. Adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as more serious pathologies such as amyloid related imaging abnormalities, which can lead to life threatening cerebral hemorrhages.
Most of the drugs that are currently being tested to treat Alzheimer’s Disease in FDA clinical trials target deposits of Amyloid-β or ptau, but rarely both of them simultaneously. Additionally, their effectiveness varies from person to person, and they do not address the root cause of the disease.
It is evident that Alzheimer’s may have different origins. One of the main breakthroughs in understanding the disease came from geneticist Dr. Axel Schumacher—Chief Biotech Officer at Rejuve Biotech.
Dr. Schumacher discovered abnormal “epigenetic modifications” in Alzheimer’s patients. But what exactly are these epigenetic modifications?
Epigenetics refers to changes in gene activity that aren't based on alterations in the DNA sequence itself, but rather on how the genes are expressed. Three primary mechanisms drive these changes: DNA methylation, histone modification, and the activity of non-coding RNA.
Each of these can significantly influence the progression of Alzheimer's, shedding light on the intricate pathways associated with the disease.
Moving Forward: Combating Alzheimer's in the Future
It’s become clear that to continue progressing towards the effective treatment and potential cure of Alzheimer’s disease, we need innovative approaches for research and development of new medication.
In this regard, Rejuve Biotech is pioneering a new drug discovery strategy based on artificial intelligence and cross-organism learning.
This method consists of using machine learning and artificial intelligence technology for conducting cross-examining age-related genetic data of humans and drosophila melanogaster, also known as fruit flies.
These two seemingly diverging species actually share many similarities in their pathological mechanisms of diseases. Comparing the two different genetic databases, we are able to identify many common neural-specific and biochemical pathways involved in longevity.
In other words, we were able to discover a series of interconnected chemical reactions related to Alzheimer’s and other aging-related diseases.
These are critical discoveries, as many diseases, including metabolic disorders, genetic diseases, and cancer, are linked to disruptions in biochemical pathways. Through the identification of these disruptions and the pathways involved, we can develop targeted therapies to restore normal cellular function and treat or manage these conditions.
Our screening led to a seven-component botanical drug, MX100A, that was effective in preventing neural motor dysfunction in our transgenic drosophila Alzheimer’s models.
The process was not only highly efficient, but also significantly less expensive than other researching methods and techniques.
The results show the potential of integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning to the biopharma industry. At Rejuve Biotech, we’re committed to leveraging this potential for the benefit, health, and wellbeing of humanity as a whole.
As treatments become more effective and tailored, caregivers might find respite from the round-the-clock monitoring of patients.
Imagine a world where an Alzheimer’s diagnosis isn’t a countdown to the inevitable loss of memory but rather just another treatable condition. That’s the world Rejuve Biotech aims to create.