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The on-line journal, Nature Medicine, reports that scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center have an unique approach to ridding the brain of amyloid-beta—a protein that has been connected with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

In a healthy brain, the protein sLRP (soluble low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein) attaches itself to amyloid-beta proteins, then neutralizes them—70-90% of the time. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have a  sLRP that is about 30% less effective in attaching to amyloid-beta proteins. The result is that Alzheimer’s disease patients have 3 to 4 times the amount of amyloid-beta floating in their bloodstreams, which is thought to reflect a similar amount in the brain.

Neuroscientist, Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., and his research team, theorized that if sLRP normally mops up the amyloid-beta protein, then a synthesized form of it should help remove the excess amount found in Alzheimer’s patients. The synthesized form known as LRP-IV is super-potent in comparison to the natural form sLRP.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were given LRP-IV were found to have virtually eliminated the amyloid-beta protein.

Zlokovic created the company, Socratech, to further develop LRP-IV, and plans to begin clinical trials within 2 years.

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