A research project has shown that an experimental model of Alzheimer’s disease can be successfully treated with a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug.
Nearly everybody will at some point in their lives take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; mefenamic acid, a common Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug (NSAID), is routinely used for period pain.
The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.
Though this is the first time a drug has been shown to target this inflammatory pathway, highlighting its importance in the disease model, the researchers caution that more research is needed to identify its impact on humans, and the long-term implications of its use.
The research paves the way for human trials, which the team hope to conduct in the future.
In the study, transgenic mice that develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were used. One group of 10 mice was treated with mefenamic acid, and 10 mice were treated in the same way with a placebo.
The mice were treated at a time when they had developed memory problems and the drug was given to them by a mini-pump implanted under the skin for one month.
Memory loss was completely reversed back to the levels seen in mice without the disease.
“These promising lab results identify a class of existing drugs that have potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease by blocking a particular part of the immune response,” said Dr. Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society.
Paper: “Fenamate NSAIDs inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome and protect against Alzheimer’s disease in rodent models”
Reprinted from materials provided by the University of Manchester.