Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that bit by bit destroys memory and thinking skills Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells. One of the protein amyloid, deposits plaques around brain cells. The other protein is called tau, drop tangles within brain cells.

Here we see some experimental drugs invented for Alzheimer’s disease also help to reduce autism in child patients.

Research Participants

The study was conducted with the collaboration of researchers from TAU’s Blavatnik School, Sheba Medical Center, and a variety of research institutions across Europe, biotechnology institute BIOCEV in the Czech Republic, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

Research on drug

The Researcher tested an experimental drug called NAP, initially invent for Alzheimer’s disease. A nerve cells in a model of ADNP syndrome with the mutation that induced Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.

The Study is based on tissues taken from the brain of a 7-year-old boy with ADNP syndrome who died in Croatia.  Researchers compared the postmortem of ADNP contaminated tissues with ADNP free tissues of a young boy. Results found the deposits of the tau protein in the ADNP child, a pathology that identifies Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers then “treated” damaged nerve-like cells carrying an ADNP mutation similar to the deceased child’s mutation with a drug candidate known as NAP.

What is NAP and How does it work?

NAP is known as CP201. It has been classified as an “orphan drug”. NAP was invented in Prof. Gozes’s laboratory and was originally treating Alzheimer’s disease. NAP is a short active fragment of the normal ADNP protein. When NAP was added to the nerve cells carrying an ADNP mutation, the tau protein got bound to the nerve cell skeleton perfectly and the cells returned to normal function.

NAP treatment is successful in restoring the normal function of the neuron. It can easily be used as a treatment for ADNP syndrome. Also, it helps to reduce autism. Since tau pathologies lead towards genetic disorders like autism. Hence, it is believed that NAP treatment will benefit those in the future who are currently suffering from such syndromes.

Genetic and Alzheimer’s

Researchers continued another phase of the study, for an understanding of the effects of the mutation that causes ADNP syndrome. For this, they extracted the genetic material mRNA (messenger RNA) from the tissues of the departed child and executed an expression analysis of about 40 proteins in the same child, encoded by the mRNA. In order to determine protein expression in those white blood cells which were taken from ADNP syndrome patients, researchers performed full genetic sequencing.

After comparing the data with healthy individuals, the result showed that ADNP syndrome damages a wide range of essential proteins and impairs its function as well. This leads to several pathological effects in the brains and other tissues of children with ADNP syndrome, which is famous as a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.


The knowledge I have accumulated through the present study opens the door to further research. I hope and believe that researchers ultimately reach the goal of developing a drug that will help children with autism caused by genetic mutations.

Cover Image by Tumisu

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Author Details

Hi! I am Madiha Anwar. Reading books and pursue skills is my passion since my childhood. Always dream to serve homo-sapiens along with this knowledge. Being a medical student I would love to write on health suggestions. I desire that articles bring a healthy change in your life. Stay tuned & stay healthy!

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