Common Pain Reliever Could Reverse Memory Loss In Alzheimer’s Patients

Posted: Aug 15 2016, 12:06pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 15 2016, 10:14pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Common Pain Reliever could Reverse Memory Loss in Alzheimer’s Patients
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The anti inflammatory drug has shown promising results on lab-grown mice and completely reversed memory loss and brain inflammation.

Reversal of Alzheimer’s symptoms is not possible with medications, but an anti inflammatory drug has shown promising results in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug, named Mefenamic acid, belongs to the class of Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) and is commonly used to relieve menstrual pain as well as migraine headaches. When tested on lab-grown mice, the drug was able to completely reverse memory loss and brain inflammation.

These results are quite significant since Alzheimer’s is currently an untreatable disease. Though medications are available but they can only temporarily reduce symptoms.

The anti inflammatory drug effects NLRP3 inflammasome, which is a pro-inflammatory pathway known to damage brain cells.

“Our research shows for the first time that mefenamic acid, a simple Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug can target an important inflammatory pathway called the NLRP3 inflammasome, which damages brain cells,” said Dr David Brough, one of the researchers involved in the study.

“Until now, no drug has been available to target this pathway, so we are very excited by this result.”

Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that impairs memory, thinking ability and motor skills. As the disease progresses, the person starts to lose the ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. An estimated 5.4 million people were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016 and the numbers are expected to escalate rapidly in coming years.

The new drug can help improve quality of life in Alzheimer’s patient. However, researchers believe further studies are required to quantify the effectiveness of the drug before it can be applied on human patients. 

“Much more work needs to be done before until we can say with certainty that it will tackle the disease in humans as mouse modals don’t always faithfully replicate the human disease,” said Brough.

“Because this drug is already available and the toxicity and pharmacokinetics of the drug is known, the time for it to reach patients should, in theory, be shorter than if we were developing completely new drugs.”

Next, researchers are preparing for more trials to confirm whether the drug actually had an effect on inflammation of nervous tissue in humans. 

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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