While Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s attack different areas of the brain and have different symptoms among patients, they have a common root, according to a report recently issued by Emory University in the United States.
According to the report published by the scientific journal, Biología Molecular y Estructural Natural, despite their clearly marked differences, the biochemical aspects of both conditions are rooted in a similar enzyme.
According to Keqiang Ye, a professor at Emory and head of the research team, both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are caused by a toxic protein that attaches to brain cells.
Experiments conducted on animal models had previously found that the drugs that inhibit the AEP enzyme have a positive effect on controlling Alzheimer’s.
With this new study, researchers discovered that the AEP also appears as an original root of Parkinson’s. They hope that developing the inhibitors for this enzyme may also lead to finding drugs that can prevent the onset of both diseases.
Ye cautions, however, that the AEP is not the only enzyme that divides the alpha-synuclein into different toxic parts and that the complete form of the enzyme can be attached and cause damage to the brain cells.
The team announced that the next phase of their research will be to test drugs that inhibit the AEP in animal models with Parkinson’s.