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Anti-Inflammatory Drug Can Reverse Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms

First Posted: Aug 15, 2016 02:38 AM EDT
Ibuprofen
A new study suggests that an anti-inflammatory drug often used for period pains or dysmenorrhea may alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr CC BY-SA 3.0

Health experts have been looking for a cure for Alzheimer's disease for a while. Finally, a new research by the University of Manchester found that the most common form of dementia can be totally cured with a drug used for menstrual pain.

The International Business Times reported that there are at least 7.5 million diagnosed cases of Alzheimer's disease in the world every year. Alzheimer's disease is a disease that causes acute problems with memory, thinking ability and behavior. In the United States alone, around 5 million people have the degenerative disease that has taken one in every three elderly person's life from dementia.

The research team, led by Dr. David Brough experimented on mice and found that mefenamic acid, a very common Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) routinely used to manage period pain totally changed the mice's inflamed brains and memory loss.

According to Medical Daily, researchers used 20 transgenic mice that were developing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The research was done when the mice were starting to develop memory problems. The mice were divided in two groups of 10. The first group was given a dose of mefenamic acid while the other group was given placebo for one month using a mini-pump that was implanted under their skin.

The team noted that the mice's memory loss was fully reversed similar to those of mice without Alzheimer's. In a statement made by Brough, he said: "There is experimental evidence now to strongly suggest that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer's disease worse. Our research shows for the first time that mefenamic acid, a simple [NSAID] can target an important inflammatory pathway called the NLRP3 inflammasome, which damages brain cells."

"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," he added. Dr. Doug Brown from the Alzheimer's Society also said that testing drugs for other conditions remain a priority for Alzheimer's society. This could allow the Alzheimer's Society to cut the 15 years or so needed to develop a new dementia drug from scratch, thesun.co.uk reported.

"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. These drugs are not without side effects and should not be taken for Alzheimer's disease at this stage - studies in people are needed first," he continued.

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