Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working with a new company that – no surprise – has already filed for a patent on the potentially profitable product, are betting, “Yes it can.”
Their findings were published last week in the journal Aging Cell ("A novel inhibitor of the insulin/IGF signaling pathway protects from age-onset, neurodegeneration-linked proteotoxicity"). The compound in question has a name: NT219. Its creators claim it impedes a particular aging process – without extending lifespan -- to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases.
Protein Build-ups in People Only as They Age
Enter TyrNovo, the start-up company apparently created to develop a compound to inhibit the growth hormone IGF1, whose natural activity seems to set in motion the processes that sometimes result in debilitating neurodegenerative diseases.
TN219 Best Disrupted the Aging Channel
The next step? Cohen has secured “ethical approval” to test the effectiveness of TN219 on AD-afflicted mice.
It’s all very interesting. And there are some exciting new elements in these reports. But there's an issue that strikes me as puzzling. We hear repeatedly that -- at least in the case of Parkinson's -- by the time most people receive their diagnoses, most of the damage to dopamine-producing cells has already occured, and the patient begins the long and difficult journey -- through drugs and exercise, mostly -- of damage control. It seems TN219 -- even if all the bugs are worked out and approvals come -- would have to be administered well before people even know they're candidates for PD. As always, the issue of early detection, BEFORE people develop symptoms, is paramount.