Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that is becoming more and more of a concern for the world’s population.The accumulation of toxic metals in the brain has a significant role in its pathogenesis, through the acceleration of amyloid β (Aβ) peptide aggregation. Aβ has a high affinity for iron and copper, producing neurotoxic hydrogen peroxide, oxidative stress, and free-radical formation.
Researchers at the department of chemistry of the Indian Institute of Technology at Guwahati have been studying therapeutic strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s disease using a fluorescent polyelectrolyte. Poly(9,9-bis(6-sulphate hexyl) fluorene-alt-1,4-phenylene sodium salt (P1), a conjugated polyfluorene derivative causes a reduction in the accumulation of iron heme proteins. Strategies to clear Aβ from the brain plaques, remove metal, and the structural modification of the aggregates to prevent them from aggregating into toxic polypeptides are used to try to control Alzheimer’s disease.
In a recent report published in Macromolecular Bioscience, Atul Dwivedi and Parameswar Iyer discuss a strategy involving the clearance of Aβ peptides, the removal of bound heme and nonheme iron, structural modification of the aggregates, dissolving them, and preventing them from reaggregating. The study involves the use of UV-vis absorption and circular dichroism spectroscopy, various binding assays, and birefringence measurements to investigate the presence and binding of Aβ and its disruption by P1. Diwedi and Iyer also conclude that the use of cerebrospinal fluid as a biomarker offers great potential in the early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.