A groundbreaking new study could have huge implications for Alzheimer's sufferers.
Scientists have just made a major new discovery that could greatly benefit sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found that an anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to treat period pain in women may actually be effective in treating chronic neurodegenerative disease.
The study, which was performed on mice, showed that mefenamic acid — used to treat menstrual pain — can actually completely reverse memory loss and brain inflammation that is commonly seen in Alzheimer’s sufferers, a disease that afflicts five million Americans. Scientists based the findings on the results of testing mefenamic acid on 20 transgenic mice that developed Alzheimer’s symptoms, according to a University of Manchester statement.
The 20 mice were divided into two groups: one group receive mefenamic acid, and the other received a placebo for one month. The drug was delivered through a mini-pump implanted underneath the skin.
The found that memory loss was fully reversed to pre-Alzheimer’s levels for the mefenamic acid group. It further indicates that it is the inflammation on the brain that worsens Alzheimer’s disease.
“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,” Dr. David Brough from The University of Manchester said in the statement. “Until now, no drug has been available to target this pathway, so we are very excited by this result. However, much more work needs to be done until we can say with certainty that it will tackle the disease in humans as mouse models don’t always faithfully replicate the human disease. 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. We are now preparing applications to perform early phase II trials to determine a proof-of-concept that the molecules have an effect on neuroinflammation in humans.”