Antiviral agents for Alzheimer's disease?

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>> Thursday, November 03, 2011

Antiviral drugs, acyclovir, penciclovir and foscarnet, are found to reduce the formation of beta-amyloid (Aβ), and abnormally phosphorylated tau (P-tau). Accumulation of these proteins are thought to be responsible for the Alzheimer’s disease. You can go through my previous post (here) to see the video clip on Alzheimer disease (nice and informative animation).
This work was reported in PLoSOne by the researcher from the University of Manchester. Previously, they have shown that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) causes accumulation of the Aβ and P-tau. In this study, they have demonstrated that antiviral agents cause reduction in the accumulation of Aβ and P-tau, as well as HSV1. Among the tested antiviral agents, foscarnet was found to have the least effect. They believe that anti-HSV1 antiviral agents might slow AD progression. This provides a new insight for the usage of antiviral agents for the treatment of AD.

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