HIV Medications as Key to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease affects nearly 7 million Americans, according to Alzheimer’s Association, and there’s still no cure. Many scientists believe more treatment options are needed. The researchers from Stanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute found that HIV Medications might help fight Alzheimer’s Disease, this study is led by Dr. Jerold Chun.

They studied the “reverse transcriptase” or called an “enzyme” because they found it’s involved in a process called somatic gene recombination, which can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease. This is the same type of “enzyme” found in HIV. Interestingly, our bodies have their own reverse transcriptase and when they don’t work properly, they might contribute to Alzheimer’s and other brain disease. This raised the idea that blocking reverse transcriptase might help treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

Scientists have developed drugs called Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (RTI) to stop HIV from spreading. These drugs have helped many people with AIDS. The study suggests that some of these HIV drugs might also work on the reverse transcriptase in our brains, potentially helping to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Chun say more research is needed, but these findings are promising. If HIV drugs can indeed help prevent Alzheimer’s, they could be a new option for treatment.

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