Medical

Pain reliever eliminates Alzheimer's symptoms – in mice

Mefenamic acid reversed memory loss in transgenic lab mice
Mefenamic acid reversed memory loss in transgenic lab mice
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Mefenamic acid reversed memory loss in transgenic lab mice
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Mefenamic acid reversed memory loss in transgenic lab mice

Mefenamic acid is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, commonly used to relieve period pain. Thanks to research being conducted at The University of Manchester, however, it may eventually have another use – the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In lab trials, it has reversed memory loss and brain inflammation in transgenic mice.

Led by Dr. David Brough, the Manchester team worked with mice that were genetically altered to exhibit Alzheimer's-like symptoms. At the time of the experiments, the mice had begun to develop memory problems.

All 20 animals had mini-pumps implanted under their skin, for a period of one month. Those pumps delivered measured doses of mefenamic acid to ten of the mice, while the other ten received a placebo. At the end of the month, memory loss in mice receiving the acid had completely disappeared, while the placebo group remained unchanged.

"There is experimental evidence now to strongly suggest that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer's disease worse," says Brough. "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."

That said, what works on mice won't necessarily work on us, so human trials are now being planned. Should those also prove promising, it may not take long before widespread treatments subsequently begin.

"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," says Brough.

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: The University of Manchester

4 comments
GiovanniDimaggio
This article looks very optimistic, probably TOO optimistic. "toxicity and pharmacokinetics of the drug is known" sounds tranquilizing at first glance but it should not. see heavy side effects, especially for older patients (which are the main target for Alzheimer treatment) in https://www.drugs.com/cdi/mefenamic-acid.html
HansdeRycke
Great that this product eliminates the 'symptoms' of Alzheimer's in mice. (I didn't know mice developed Alzheimer's) The problem, however, is how to eliminate the disease rather than the symptoms. Without symptoms the disease will pop up somewhere else in the body. An article in Naturalnews mentioned that; 'Consumption of dairy products, especially milk, increases a man's risk of contracting Parkinson's disease, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Previous studies have established a link between Parkinson's -- a degenerative central nervous system disorder that commonly causes the impairment of motor skills, including speech -- and the consumption of dairy. However, the mechanism for this effect is not yet understood. Researchers used data from a cancer-prevention health survey of the dietary and lifestyle habits of 73,175 women and 57,689 men to compare dairy intake mentioned dairy consumptionwith Parkinson's risk. They found that the men who ate the most dairy were 60 percent more likely to contract Parkinson's disease than the men with the lowest intake. Milk accounted for most of the correlation, rather than more processed products like yogurt or cheese. The data for the study were collected between the years of 1992 and 2001.' (Naturalnews, Monday, January 07, 2008) It seems to me a much better idea to eliminate this debilitating disease by eliminating the causes of the disease.
Rusty Harris
WOW! Now if people had MOUSE BRAINS (considering our politicians in the states, that is highly possible!), we'd all be cured!
Tanstar
HansdeRycke, you are buying into the dairy products being the cause, when a desire for more dairy might just be another (precursor) symptom.