Investigators have put in generations attempting to discover new, effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, but new study recommends the solution may reside in a current painkiller generally used to treat menstrual cramps.
In a study presented the journal Nature Communications, investigators expose how the drug mefenamic acid reversed memory loss in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease by decreasing brain inflammation.
Study lead Dr. David Brough and his team say their outcomes provide way to clinical trials.
Obviously, developing a novel medicine from the ground up will take time; in accordance to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), it can take no less than a decade for a new medicine to reach the market, with clinical studies alone taking an average of 6-7 years.
As a result, investigators are significantly concentrating on figuring out other feasible uses for existing drugs, which can considerably reduce the approval time.
Now, Dr. Brough and colleagues consider they might be in route to reaching such a feat, after identifying the drug mefenamic acid may hold possible for the therapy of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mefenamic acid is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to deal with mild to moderate pain, and it is very frequently recommended for the menstrual pain.
Mefenamic acid focuses on detrimental inflammatory pathway in the brain
For their research, the investigators used 20 mice that were genetically modified to build Alzheimer’s disease.
As soon as the mice had developed memory issues, 50 % of them were handled with mefenamic acid for 1 month, while the leftover 50 % obtained a placebo. Both mefenamic acid and the placebo were given via a mini-pump implanted under the skin.
In comparison with the mice that obtained the placebo, those that were dealt with with mefenamic acid demonstrated a complete reversal in memory loss, with their memory returning to levels observed in mice free of Alzheimer’s.
Additional research unveiled that mefenamic acid focuses on the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, which is a pro-inflammatory pathway well-known to harm brain cells.
With respect to Dr. Brough, this research shows the initial time a drug has been found to target the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, and the study illustrates the significance of this pathway in Alzheimer’s disease.
“There is experimental proof now to strongly recommend that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer’s disease more serious.”
The investigators confess that a lot more work is required to figure out whether mefenamic acid may be a successful treatment for humans with Alzheimer’s disease, but they are motivated by their study results.
The investigators are now in the procedure for completing applications for early phase II studies of mefenamic acid for Alzheimer’s, which they expect will offer proof of concept that the drug reverses memory loss by focusing on inflammation.
The study team notices that mefenamic acid is currently on the market and the side effects are currently known. Therefore, if the drug shows successful for the therapy of Alzheimer’s, its acceptance process should be shorter.