Blocking an enzyme in the brain of mice with Alzheimer’s suppresses symptoms and extends lifespan, suggesting new treatments for the devastating illness.

Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in San Francisco, California examined how changing levels of an enzyme called Fyn affects Alzheimer’s symptoms such as the accumulation of large clumps of amyloid proteins (plaques) in the brain and the degradation of synapses.

“Our results suggest that Fyn plays a key role in Alzheimer’s-related synaptic impairments, and that it can worsen the toxicity of amyloid proteins,” says Gladstone researcher Jeannie Chin. “We are excited about the possibility that pharmacological modulation of Fyn might be of therapeutic benefit in this disease.”

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