FAH simulations lead to a new treatment strategy for Alzheimer's Disease

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We are happy to finally announce some very important results from the project. These results have been a long time in development and are great achievements for Folding@home in general, showing that the approach started 10 years ago can significantly advance the long-term goals of the project.

Those long-term goals are:

  • 1) Develop new methods to overcome the challenges presented by computer simulation of protein folding
  • 2) Apply these new methods to better understand the process of protein folding
  • 3) Use these new methods to simulate the misfolding of the protein "beta amyloid," a key process of toxicity involved in Alzheimer's disease
  • 4) Use these simulations to develop new small molecule drug candidates to treat Alzheimer's Disease

In the early years of FAH, the focus was on goals 1 and 2. In the last 5-7 years, the focus changed to goal 3. Now it is time to announce some progress on the final goal!

In an article published in the Journal of Medical Chemistry, researchers describe testing predictions made by previous work done by Folding@home, and how these predictions have led to a new strategy to combat Alzheimer's Disease. While it is true that this is not the cure to the disease which we all seek, it is a major step towards that cure.

The next step, currently underway in the laboratory, is to test this new compound in the hope that it will be able to be turned into a usable drug. It is too early to discuss preliminary results (as those have not yet been peer-reviewed), but Vijay is pleased that the guidelines set out in the article do point to a viable drug, not just a candidate!

Article: Design of β-Amyloid Aggregation Inhibitors from a Predicted Structural Motif.

Source: Vijay's blog