Alzheimer’s Disease has heretofore never had a cure. We use drugs such as donepezil to slow its
progress, but we cannot reverse the damage done. Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia in
elderly patients and progresses by the congregation of certain peptides in the brain, which connect to
form insoluble strands in plaques within the brain’s protein structure. These plaques reduce the brain’s
ability to access long-term memory without sacrificing the natural electrical conductivity of the brain’s
cells. The result is a marked decline in cognitive function, recall ability, and information processing
capacity.
A study published in May of 2020 in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications has shed
light on a hormone’s potential for reversal of plaque formation in Alzheimer’s Disease. Oxytocin, a
naturally produced hormone associated with childbirth and lactation, aids in the regulation of cognitive
function and has receptors within various regions of the brain. Mice studies have showed these
receptors to be involved in spatial learning and long-term memory, and upon stimulation by an oxytocin
infusion, the mice’s performance improved in these areas. The study published in May, however, took a
closer look at the possible interaction of oxytocin with the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s
Disease.
The researchers induced the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice and observed the effect
of oxytocin. They also observed the effect of an oxytocin receptor antagonist to discern if the observed
response was specific to oxytocin. It was found that oxytocin reversed the formation of the amyloid
plaque in the brains of mice, while the oxytocin receptor antagonist failed to do the same. These results
lay the foundation for groundbreaking strides to be made in medicine, and to alter treatment of
dementia for the betterment of generations to come.

By Jordan Lyons, PharmD candidate 2021
View article at:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006291X20307725

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *