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Expatriate Insurance News: Iron-chelating drug could disrupt Alzheimer's

Although people with Alzheimer's disease cannot currently receive any treatments that will definitely change the course of the condition through international medical insurance policies, this may change in the future following a new revelation.

The investigation, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and led by associate professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences' Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics Dr Othman Ghribi, indicated reducing the amount of iron in blood plasma could have a protective effect on the brain.

Researchers fed rabbits a high-cholesterol diet that resulted in the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins, which are known to be central to the development of Alzheimer's.

They also developed changes to levels of tau protein, which can disrupt neurons' abilities to conduct electricity.

Later, the animals were given an iron-chelating drug called deferiprone, which reduced the amounts of these compounds back to normal levels.

It is also thought the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can harm brain neurons and result in Alzheimer's disease and it was shown deferiprone can suppress this damage.

"It is possible that a higher dose of deferiprone, or combination therapy of deferiprone together with an antioxidant to prevent ROS generation, would more-fully protect against the deleterious effects of cholesterol-enriched diet," Dr Ghribi said.

He pointed out high levels of fat are linked to Alzheimer's, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in  the US and impacts almost one-eighth of people aged over 65, becoming more common as individuals get older.

The medical expert pointed out defiriprone appears to oppose several of the impacts of high-cholesterol food consumption.

Recently, scientists at Columbia University Medical Center conducted research published in the journal PloS One, which seemed to demonstrate the way in which Alzheimer's spreads throughout vulnerable regions of the mind, with abnormal tau proteins jumping across neurons through a linked pathway.

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