The anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin could hold promise as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, says a Saint Louis University doctor and researcher.
Two research studies published by William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatrics and pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, support this conclusion and offer what he calls a "one-two punch" in giving clues on how Alzheimer's disease develops and could be treated.
His study in the July edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease supports the idea that toxic levels of amyloid beta protein, the substance scientists believe is responsible for Alzheimer's disease, accumulate in the brain because a pump that pushes it into the blood and past the blood-brain barrier malfunctions.
The blood-brain barrier is a system of cells that regulates the exchange of substances between the brain and the blood. The blood-brain barrier transporter known as LRP is the pump that removes amyloid beta protein from the brain and into the bloodstream.
"LRP malfunctions like a stop light stuck on red, and keeps amyloid beta protein trapped in the brain," said Banks, who also is a staff physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis.
He tested the hypothesis by giving mice an antisense, which is a molecular compound that blocked the production of LRP. Amyloid beta protein accumulated in the brain and the mice showed memory loss and learning impairment.
The finding raises the question of what causes LRP to malfunction. Banks' study in the May issue of Brain Behavior and Immunity suggests inflammation as the culprit and supports using indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory medication, as a buffer to protect LRP from being turned off.
Inflammation, which is part of the body's natural immune response, occurs when the body activates white blood cells and produces chemicals to fight infection and invading foreign substances.
"We induced inflammation in mice and found that it turned off the LRP pump that lets amyloid beta protein exit the brain into the bloodstream. It also revved up an entrance pump that transports amyloid beta into the brain. Both of these actions would increase the amount of amyloid beta protein in the brain."
Banks then gave mice indomethacin, which prevented inflammation from turning off the LRP (exit pump).
His findings help to explain what doctors who are studying the use of indomethacin to treat people with Alzheimer's disease are seeing in their clinical practice.
"Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially indomethacin, have been associated with protection against Alzheimer's disease. Our work could influence that debate and thinking at the patient-care level," Banks said.
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.
Nancy Solomon | EurekAlert!
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News