In a new study from National Institute on Aging, researchers found an anti-inflammatory drug, known as 3,6′-dithiopomalidomide (DP), could protect against cognitive decline by reducing brain inflammation.
The study results provide new evidence that brain inflammation—which occurs decades before Alzheimer’s symptoms are noticeable—is a keyway to finding potential treatments for Alzheimer’s.
In the study, the team examined whether brain inflammation was directly involved in the cognitive loss.
They used a mouse model specially designed to produce up to five times the normal levels of beta-amyloid plaques.
These plaques are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s and are thought to contribute to a destructive inflammatory response in the brain.
After four months of treatment with DP, the mice showed reduced brain inflammation and neuron death, and they had more neural connections in the brain areas responsible for memory and attention.
DP-treated mice also showed improvement in behavioral tasks that test spatial and working memory as well as anxiety behaviors and motor function, results from the researchers see as protective against cognitive impairment.
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The study is published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association and was conducted by Daniela Lecca et al.
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