Some of the earliest signs of neurodegeneration (inflammation, proteinopathy and neuronal atrophy), including that seen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, occur in the locus coeruleus (LC, literally ‘blue place’) named for the bluish color of accumulated transmitter metabolites. This important brain stem nucleus is the origin of all ascending transmission by noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine) that modulates and activates higher brain functions in limbic and cortical regions, and supports cerebral homeostasis.
With LC degeneration, the neuronal, metabolic and immunological support provided by noradrenaline, via many neural and glial cell types, begins to erode, causing a progressive and catastrophic neural decline, marked by inflammation, protein tangles and atrophy. Over years, memory, cognitive and executive function deteriorate, along with increasing dysfunction in sleep and autonomic control. Often, these degenerative characteristics are preceded by a patient’s loss of arousal, motivation and positive mood, which are key early indicators of LC decline.
CuraSen’s approach is focused on restoring the lost adrenergic impact of the LC by activating specific targets for noradrenaline in the brain. Using our novel compounds, we anticipate restoring the function of multiple cell types in the brain, including neurons, microglia, pericytes and astrocytes, and broadly improving cerebral integrity and function. Such an approach is anticipated to improve cognition, memory and mood, and help restore normal daily functions, as well as reduce the neuroinflammatory and protein accumulations associated with the progression of disease. Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the life-altering symptoms of neurodegenerative disease, and potentially slow or even reverse disease progression.