The study, published in the online version of the Journal of Neuroscience Research, shows how a protein called KDI tri-peptide (KDI) can block the harmful effects of a substance called glutamate that is present in all degenerative brain diseases and spinal cord injuries, causing permanent cell death and preventing the repair of damaged nerve connections. Glutamate is produced as part of the body's natural reaction to central nervous system damage.
In the new study, researchers at the Brain Laboratory at the University of Helsinki (www.brainlab.fi) and at the Johnnie B. Byrd, Sr., Alzheimer's Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Fla., show KDI to be a potent and wide-ranging blocker of glutamate's damaging chemical processes. It therefore has a tremendous ability to protect the brain and spinal cord from cell death and even enable re-growth.
Human clinical trials are expected to begin as soon as next year. No toxic side effects have been seen in studies so far, and the Finnish researchers do not expect any since KDI occurs naturally in the human body, including in the central nervous system. An added advantage is that KDI can be easily synthesized, therefore avoiding the problems associated with human cell donation.
Medindia on Alzheimer's disease: further information
Alzheimer's disease: This condition affects the brain cells and slowly destroys them. The main symptoms of the disease are decreasing memory, ability to reason, creative abilities and learning powers.
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