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Alzheimer's disease (AD); neurology

Calpain; calpastatin

Mouse studies suggest inhibiting calpain could help treat AD and other neurodegenerative tauopathies. In a transgenic mouse tauopathy model, levels of hyperactivated calpain and potentially toxic forms of microtubule-associated protein-t (MAPT; tau; FTDP-17) in the brain were higher than those seen in wild-type controls. In this mouse model, overexpression of the calpain inhibitor calpastatin prevented the development of potentially toxic forms of tau, delayed the development of disease pathology and increased survival compared with normal calpastatin expression. Next steps could include developing selective pharmacological inhibitors of calpain signaling and evaluating them in mouse models of tauopathy.

SciBX 7(29); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.870
Published online July 31, 2014

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Rao, M.V. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online July 9, 2014;
Contact: Mala V. Rao, The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, N.Y.