German scientists work on Alzheimer's cure, but 10 years away

Dresden, Germany  -  In a research breakthrough, a potential cure for Alzheimer's disease has been developed in Germany, but it may not be practicable for human patients for another 10 years, scientists said Thursday.

The new technique inhibits beta-secretase, an enzyme which is now known to be a main cause of senile brain decay.

A report Thursday in the journal Science described how researchers in Dresden in Germany used an "anchor" to lodge the inhibitor in mice brains and prevent them succumbing to a mouse version of Alzheimer's.

The research was conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

Lodging the inhibitor in the cell membrane "enormously" increased its beneficial effects, the report said.

Kai Simons, a former director of the institute, said the method was a breakthrough in Alzheimer's research, but warned against exaggerated hopes, saying it would take at least 10 years to develop a suitable therapy using the method. (dpa)