AI identifies existing drugs that could also treat Alzheimer’s disease


Alzheimer’s disease is more and more common as life expectancy increases. But the complexity of the disease makes it difficult to find effective treatments.

One way to speed up research that has shown promising results is to use AI to find existing drugs that could be reused to fight the disease. disorder.

Harvard researchers recently used the approach to identify 80 drug candidates that merit further investigation.

They discovered the suitors through a framework they call DRIAD (Drug Repurposing In Alzheimer’s Disease).

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DRIAD works by quantifying the potential associations between disease stages and molecular mechanisms that are encoded in lists of genes.

This allows him to measure what happens to brain cells when a person is treated with a drug and to determine if the changes correlate with molecular markers of disease severity.

The researchers used the framework to screen 80 FDA-approved and clinically tested drugs. Their analysis identified several anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat arthritis and blood cancers as the main candidates for reuse.

The drugs work by blocking the action of proteins that fuel inflammation, which are thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the drugs, Baricitinib, which is typically used to reduce pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, was also recently identified as a potential treatment for COVID-19 in a separate AI study. The drug will now enter a clinical trial for patients with subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers believe their method could provide a quick and inexpensive way to find other drugs that can treat Alzheimer’s disease. It could also provide new information on the mechanisms behind the disease.

You can read the study article in the journal in Nature communications.

Published March 5, 2021 – 19:46 UTC


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