Can aspirin treat Alzheimer's?

A regimen of low-dose aspirin potentially may reduce plaques in the brain, which will reduce Alzheimer's disease pathology and protect memory, according to neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center, who published the results of their study today in the July issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"The results of our study identifies a possible new role for one of the most widely used, common, over-the-counter medications in the world," said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, the study's senior author and lead research investigator, who also is the Floyd A. Davis, MD, Endowed Chair of Neurology and professor of neurological sciences, biochemistry and pharmacology in Rush Medical College.

Alzheimer's disease is a fatal form of dementia that affects up to 1 in 10 Americans age 65 or older. To date, the FDA has approved very few drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease-related dementia and the medications that exist can only provide limited symptomatic relief.

The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease progression is unknown; however, poor disposal of the toxic protein amyloid beta in the brain is a leading mechanism in dementia and memory loss.

Activating the cellular machinery responsible for removing waste from the brain therefore has emerged as a promising strategy for slowing Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid beta forms clumps called amyloid plaques, which harm connections between nerve cells and are one of the major signs of Alzheimer's disease. Building on previous studies demonstrating a link between aspirin and reduced risk and prevalence of Alzheimer's disease,

Pahan and his colleagues were able to show that aspirin decreases amyloid plaque pathology in mice by stimulating lysosomes -- the component of animal cells that help clear cellular debris.

"Understanding how plaques are cleared is important to developing effective drugs that stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease," said Pahan.

A protein called TFEB is considered the master regulator of waste removal. The researchers gave aspirin orally for a month to genetically modified mice with Alzheimer's pathology, then evaluated the amount of amyloid plaque in the parts of the brain affected most by Alzheimer's disease.

They found that the aspirin medications augmented TFEB, stimulated lysosomes and decreased amyloid plaque pathology in the mice.

"This research study adds another potential benefit to aspirin's already established uses for pain relief and for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases," said Pahan. "More research needs to be completed, but the findings of our study has major potential implications for the therapeutic use of aspirin in AD and other dementia-related illnesses."

Sujyoti Chandra, Malabendu Jana, Kalipada Pahan.
Aspirin induces Lysosomal biogenesis and attenuates Amyloid plaque pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease via PPARα.
The Journal of Neuroscience (2018). doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0054-18.2018.

Most Popular Now

FDA highlights record-breaking number of generic d…

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing a summary of the generic drug approval actions for the month of October 2018 as part of its efforts to improve p...

FDA approves new drug to treat influenza

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza (flu) in patients 12 years of age and older...

Novartis announces clinical collaboration with Pfi…

Novartis announced today that it has entered into a clinical development agreement with Pfizer which will include a study combining tropifexor and one or more Pfizer comp...

Alcon to develop SMART Suite digital health platfo…

Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, today announced plans to develop the SMART Suite by Alcon, an innovative, digital platform that is design...

Twenty years on, measuring the impact of human ste…

In November 1998, the world was introduced to human embryonic stem cells, the blank slate cells that arise at the earliest stages of development and that go on to become ...

Novartis R&D update highlights industry leadin…

Throughout 2018, Novartis took strong action to focus the company and its capital towards the Innovative Medicines Division, resulting in an industry leading pipeline. To...

Boehringer Ingelheim inaugurates new centre for ag…

Boehringer Ingelheim has taken an important step towards greater agility in the company with inauguration of the new building, called "BI CUBE", at the Ingelheim site. Th...

New epigenetic drug strategy to treat cancer

Researchers have discovered that inhibiting CDK9, a DNA transcription regulator, reactivates genes that have been epigenetically silenced by cancer. Reactivation leads to...

Largest census of cancer genes to help understand …

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute have created the first comprehensive summary of all genes known to be involved in human cancer, the "Cancer Gene Census". Des...

FDA approves asthma indication for Dupixent® (dupi…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Dupixent® (dupilumab) as an add-on maintenance therapy in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma aged 12 years and old...

Can chocolate, tea, coffee and zinc help make you …

Ageing and a low life expectancy are caused, at least partly, by oxidative stress. A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Ivana Ivanovi-Burmazovi from the Chair of Bioino...

Agreement with Grünenthal for rights to Nexium in …

AstraZeneca has agreed to divest the prescription medicine rights to Nexium (esomeprazole) in Europe, as well as the global rights (excluding the US and Japan) to Vimovo ...