Cancer drug prevents build-up of toxic brain protein

"This drug, ( nilotinib) in very low doses, turns on the garbage disposal machinery inside neurons to clear toxic proteins from the cell. By clearing intracellular proteins, the drug prevents their accumulation in pathological inclusions called Lewy bodies and/or tangles, and also prevents amyloid secretion into the extracellular space between neurons, so proteins do not form toxic clumps or plaques in the brain," says the study's senior investigator, neuroscientist Charbel E-H Moussa, MB, PhD. Moussa heads the laboratory of dementia and Parkinsonism at Georgetown.
When the drug, nilotinib, is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), it forces cancer cells into autophagy—a biological process that leads to death of tumor cells in cancer."

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