The tantalising prospect of treating a range of brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, all with the same drug, has been raised by UK researchers.
In a study, published in Nature, they prevented brain cells dying in mice with prion disease.
It is hoped the same method for preventing brain cell death could apply in other diseases.
The findings are at an early stage, but have been heralded as “fascinating”.
Many neuro-degenerative diseases result in the build-up of proteins which are not put together correctly – known as misfolded proteins. This happens in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s as well as in prion diseases, such as the human form of mad cow disease.