Category: Road to the Cure

Recently, Stanford researchers were able to improve the cognitive function of older mice after blocking a protein's activity on brain cells known as microglia. These scientists have hunted down a single gene that encodes a protein responsible for age-related cognitive losses, targeted it with special blocking antibodies, and shown in mice that these antibodies can rejuvenate old brains to work as well as young ones.

            Microglia is a class of brain cells responsible for immune responses and routine cleanup. Among many other functions, microglia spends their time gobbling up bits of protein deposits and cellular debris that result from normal brain activity, and it's long been known that their garbage-collecting performance deteriorates with age. The decline in microglial cleanup performance is believed to be linked to the kinds of cognitive declines we see with aging. Both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, for example, are diseases with abnormal accumulation of proteins that are associated with the decline of microglia clean-up activity.

            Through analysis of thousands of microglia-related proteins, the scientists found that one protein, CD22, was as much as three times as prevalent on the surface of old mice's microglia as on those of young mice. Thus, CD22 protein was suspected of being the culprit for slowing down clean-up activity of microglia. CD22 protein is found in both mice and humans.

            Blocking the effects of CD22: With a possible culprit identified, the team decided to block CD22 protein using specially designed CD22-antibodies. Since antibodies, in general, do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to enter into the CNS, the scientists injected these antibodies into one side of the mice's hippocampus, and for a control, they injected a different antibody that couldn't bind with CD22 into the other side of the hippocampus. Sure enough, 48 hours post-injection, there were far less of alpha-synuclein protein debris left on the side with the CD22-blocking antibodies.

            Turning back the clock:  After a month of continuous CD22 antibody injections, the mice improved their performance on two different learning and memory tests to the point that they significantly outperformed control mice of the same age.

            How Can ICBII Turn These Results into Parkinson’s Cure? ICBII plans to develop CD22-SMART Molecule. SMART Molecules (SMs) have unique characteristics to cross the BBB into the CNS. Instead of drilling holes in the skull to inject CD22-antibodies as these Stanford scientists did, ICBII CD22-SM will be injected in the arm. ICBII is confident that it can develop such an SM.

            WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP get their drugs to market faster? The joy of being a part of this historical event can be had by helping ICBI find the funds to bring these trials to fruition through your investing, and by finding others with the financial ability and humanitarian mindset to accomplish the - until now - impossible. Please contact Jo Rosen at 760-773-5628 or jorosen@Parkinsonsresource.org or by contacting ICBI directly through their website http://icbii.com/ or by phone 858-455-9880.

IMAGINE the world without Parkinson’s, MSA or Alzheimer’s disease. JUST IMAGINE.

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Updated: August 16, 2017