Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative and ultimately fatal disease that slowly destroys the brain. At an advanced stage, Alzheimer's disease sufferers lose the ability to take care of themselves and require help in every aspect of their everyday living.
Based on findings of a recent study researchers say that a mixture of peptides derived from colostrum could help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by reducing the build-up of beta amyloid, a toxic protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers.
ReGen Therapeutics, a UK firm first gained the rights to the polypeptide product Colostrinin in the late 1980s and initially sought to develop the compound as a pharmaceutical but over the last two years has changed its focus to the nutraceutical market and is now in discussions with partners to market Colostrinin for the 'maintenance of healthy mental function'.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on 106 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, published last year it was found that after 15 weeks of taking the product in tablet form, around 40 per cent of the patients were stabilized or had an improved overall response in tests on cognitive function. The greatest effects were seen during the earlier stages of the disease and no serious adverse events were observed during the trial.
Latest research published, reveals a possible mechanism for this effect. Colostrinin appears to prevent the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptide Abeta (1-40) in vitro, dissolving the dense fibres that form in the brain over time. Researchers believe that this data provides the molecular basis for explaining the beneficial effect of Colostrinin in patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at ReGen say that their company intends to begin safety studies within the next few months.