Sunday, 20 January 2008
Dementia drugs can damage brain DNA
January 19, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Jan 18: Medicines commonly used for treatment of memory-related problems will cause harm to the brain by damaging the DNA structure.
The ICMR's Centre for Research on Ageing and Brain, located at the University of Hyderabad, carried out a study on the genetic damage certain drugs routinely prescribed for dementia (loss of faculties including memory and judgement) would cause in patients.
The study revealed that the drugs act on the activity of DNA polymerases beta, an important enzyme that is needed for DNA repair in brain. Prof KS Rao, Dr VN Vyjayanti and Dr NS Chary selected three of the most commonly prescribed drugs for mental disorders like dementia. The drugs were Donepezil hydrochloride, Rivastigmine tartrate and Nootropyl. The scientists then tested the impact these drugs would have on the activity of DNA polymerases beta.
It was found that these drugs inhibited DNA polymerase beta activity to varying degrees although the affects of Donepezil being the least and inconsistent.
The drugs preferentially bind to and inhibit the activities of DNA polymerase beta. "The inhibitory action of most widely used dementia drugs on DNA repair potential signifies that pharma sector needs to consider this aspect especially while designing drugs targeted towards brain," they pointed out.
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