TECH

Tiny Gold Nanoparticle Could Deliver Major Alzheimer's Drug Without Side Effects

23/08/2016 14:11

A tiny nanoparticle has been developed that could deliver an Alzheimer’s drug but without any of the side-effects that are commonly associated with it.

The ultra-precise delivery method uses a tiny gold ball which is just the right size to target the over-active brain receptors which can then lead to neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s.

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The researchers hail from Stanford University and the University of California and have shown that by changing the delivery method of the drug memantine they can greatly increase its viability as an early-use drug.

Typically memantine is used as a late-stage medication because of the risks inherent with prescribing it.

The drug’s method of attack is to target all brain receptors, rather than the ones that are likely to cause disease.

By placing the drug inside a custom-built nanoparticle the researchers were able to make a product which was too big to attack the healthy receptors but small enough to target the problematic ones.

It’s very early days for the study and while the test results were positive, there’s still a lot more work to be done.

10 Symptoms for Alzheimer’s Disease

  • 1 Finding it difficult to complete home tasks
    Alexandra Grablewski via Getty Images
    The Alzheimer's Association says that people who have the illness will find it difficult to complete daily tasks - this could range from cleaning to forgetting the rules of a game played regularly.
  • 2 Finding it hard to read and understand visual images.
    Rob Lewine via Getty Images
    The Alzheimer's Association claim that people may find it hard to read or understand certain images if suffering from the disease. They also may find it difficult to determine colour or contrast, which may stop them from driving.
  • 3 Misplacing things
    ladi59 via Getty Images
    People with Alzheimer's may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and also accuse others of stealing. This may become more and more frequent.
  • 4 Confusion with time or places.
    mediaphotos via Getty Images
    The Alzheimer's Association says that people who have the condition can lose track of time, dates and seasons. Sufferers may have trouble understanding things if they are not happening promptly. They may also lose track of where they are and how they got there.
  • 5 Solving problems.
    Martin Barraud via Getty Images
    Sufferers may feel changes in their ability to follow a plan or work with numbers. They'll probably have trouble following a basic recipe, or keeping track of monthly bills. They might find it difficult to concentrate and take much longer to do things than they did before. Source: Alzheimer's Association
  • 6 Withdrawel from social activities.
    Ryan McVay via Getty Images
    Someone with Alzheimer's may remove themselves from certain hobbies/interests and social activities.
  • 7 Mood changes
    The Welfare & Medical Care via Getty Images
    The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's disease can change, they can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. Source: Alzheimer's Association
  • 8 Decreased or poor judgment.
    Martin Moos via Getty Images
    People with Alzheimer's may have poor judgment. This can include confusion over how much money they should spend. They may also pay less attention to grooming and cleaning themselves regularly. Source: Alzheimer's Association
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