Researchers have created a strategy based
on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that quickly identifies currently available
medications or drugs that could handle Alzheimer's disease.
The technique might possibly represent an
inexpensive and rapid way to repurpose pre-existing therapies into new
treatments just for this progressive, debilitating neurodegenerative problem.
Importantly, it might also help reveal brand new, unexplored targets for
treatment by aiming at systems of drug action.
"Repurposing FDA-approved medicines
for Alzheimer's disease is an attractive idea that may help hasten the arrival
of effective treatment - but unfortunately, quite possibly for previously
approved drugs, clinical trials require considerable online resources, making
it not possible to assess every drug in patients with Alzheimer's
disease," stated researcher Artem Sokolov from Harvard Medical School.
"We, therefore, made a framework for
prioritizing prescription drugs, assisting clinical scientific studies to
concentrate on probably the most promising ones," Sokolov included.
For the analysis, published in Nature
Communications, the team described the framework, referred to as DRIAD (Drug
Repurposing In Alzheimer's Disease), that is based on machine learning - a
department of man-made intelligence whereby systems are "trained" on
a large amount of data, "learn" to determine telltale patterns and
augment researchers' and even clinicians' decision making.
DRIAD works by measuring what goes on to
human mind neural cells when treated with a drug.
The strategy then determines whether the
modifications caused by a drug correlate with molecular markers of disease
The strategy even allowed the researchers
to find medications that had protective and damaging consequences on brain cells.
The team applied the screening way to 80
FDA-approved and clinically tested drugs for a wide range of problems. The
evaluation yielded a ranked list of candidates, with a number of
anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and blood
cancers emerging as best contenders.
These medications belong to a category of
medicines referred to as Janus kinase inhibitors. The medications work by
blocking the activity of inflammation fueling Janus kinase proteins, suspected
to enjoy a job in Alzheimer's illness and recognized for their role in
autoimmune conditions. The crew's analyses also pointed to various other
potential therapeutic targets for further exploration.