1. ITV Report

Scientists could be closer to curing Alzheimers

James Murray-White cares for his mum who has Alzheimer's Photo: ITV News Anglia

Scientists maybe one step closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer's after they discovered a molecule that prevents the development of the disease.

A new study, carried out in part by Cambridge scientists, claims a molecule that develops naturally in humans could break the cycle of events that leads to the condition.

Alzheimer's is caused by malfunctioning proteins called amyloid fibrils that then stick to other healthy proteins to form highly toxic clusters. It allows the disease to kill off a patient's brain cells.

However scientists claim the molecule Brichos prevents the proteins from forming these dangerous clusters.

It means they have moved one step closer to developing drugs capable of tackling the disease.

Dr Samuel Cohen, a researcher at St John's College at Cambridge University, said steps like this give him "optimism" that they will one day find a cure.

"Our study shows, for the first time, one of these critical processes being specifically inhibited, and reveals that by doing so we can prevent the toxic effects of protein aggregation that are associated with this terrible condition.A good tactic now is to search for other molecules that have this same highly targeted effect and to see if these can be used as the starting point for developing a future therapy."In terms of curing Alzheimer's we are still a long way away but it at least found molecules that could help us on that course.We are confident we are making progress towards a cure and steps like this are really pushing open new avenues that could develop new drugs"

– Dr Samuel Cohen