Here at The Barshop Institute, Dr. Bess Frost and her lab are studying fruit flies to learn more about the human brain and hope to unlock the keys to Alzheimer’s disease.
“There are currently four drugs that are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, three of them are in the same class and one of them is in another class for end-stage Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Bess Frost, an assistant professor at the Barshop Institute.
The problem, all of those hit the disease too late, when plaques and tangles have already decimated the human brain.
“None of them target the underlying cause of the disease, which is a great feature of this drug,” Dr. Frost said.
The drug was made by a company called Biogen, which is in Cambridge, MA. The testing is in its third phase with more than 1100 patients and will determine if the drug can halt the loss of cognition. That loss is also being battled right here in San Antonio with the genetically modified flies.
“We really need ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early before the onset of symptoms, and that’s when drugs like this are going to really be the most powerful,” Dr. Frost said. Watch their story by clicking the video from KENS 5 & Kens5.com below.