Levi Montalcini’s discovery as a possible anti-Alzheimer’s weapon


By John

Nerve growth factor (NGF) by Rita Levi Montalcini, the discovery of which was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986, could become a drug to protect nerve cells from Alzheimer’s. Experimentation is underway at the EBRI (European Brain Research Institute), the international scientific research institute dedicated to the study of neuroscience, to whose creation Rita Levi Montalcini dedicated the last 12 years of her life, presiding over it for 10 years.

“We are working to develop a variant of the Ngf protein that can provide protection to nerve fibers against the neurodegeneration linked to Alzheimer’s,” EBRI president Antonino Cattaneo explained to ANSA. «The goal is to develop, together with the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, a nasal spray that can act on the brain. We can’t talk about drugs yet – specifies Cattaneo – because we are waiting to start clinical trials on humans, which should start within a couple of years”.

NGF is already used as a drug, in the form of eye drops registered two years ago, against a form of corneal ulcer, underlines Cattaneo. «We are now pursuing a new path, to develop a variant of NGF that can protect nerve cells before the degeneration triggered by Alzheimer’s becomes irreversible. One way – concludes the president of Ebri – to continue the commitment of Rita Levi Montalcini, who fought like a lioness in the last 12 years of her life for the birth of an international neuroscience research institute, l ‘Hebrews’.