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Mefenamic acid could be huge ally in the fight against Alzheimer's - study

16/08/2016

Mefenamic acid could be huge ally in the fight against Alzheimer's - studyToday, approximately 5.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, and by 2050, that number is expected to have more than doubled to 13.8 million, unless new, more effective treatments are found.

Now, after decades of research, it has been discovered that an existing drug commonly used to treat menstrual pain could prove crucial in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Publishing their findings in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers revealed how mefenamic acid was found to reverse the effect's of Alzheimer's disease in mice by reducing brain inflammation.

According to Dr. David Brough from the University of Manchester in the UK, who led the study, his team's findings provide enough evidence for trials in humans with the disease to begin sometime in the future.

For the study, the researchers analysed the effects of both mefenamic acid and a placebo on a group of 20 mice that had been genetically-modified to develop Alzheimer's disease. The 10 mice that were given mefenamic acid displayed a complete reversal in memory loss, while the placebo group did not.

Upon further investigation, the research team found that mefenamic acid targets a pro-inflammatory pathway which is known to damage brain cells, known as the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway.

While mefenamic acid should not yet be used to treat Alzheimer's disease, the director of research and development at the U.K.'s Alzheimer's Society, Dr. Doug Brown, said that the study's findings were "promising".
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