Alzheimer’s disease is a terrifying diagnosis. Incurable, difficult to slow — Alzheimer’s disease is in effect, a long, slow death sentence, robbing its victims of their memory and cognitive disabilities and restricting their ability to function as a human being. Now, however, as difficult as it may be to believe, science may have found a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
A new research study at the University of Manchester has indicated that Alzheimer’s disease can actually be fully cured with an anti-inflammatory drug that is most often used for menstrual pain relief. That drug that may in fact be the cure for Alzheimer’s disease is mefenamic acid.
The team researching Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Manchester was led by Dr. David Brough. Brough and his team worked with mice to discover that mefenamic acid — a popular Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug, or NSAID — completely reversed inflammation in the brain of test subjects and completely restored lost memory.
Here’s how the Alzheimer’s disease study worked. Twenty mice were genetically altered so that they displayed the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Half of the mice were treated with mefenamic acid by utilizing a mini-pump installed under their skin for one month. The other half of the mice were treated in the same way using a placebo. When the results were in, the research team was astounded at the findings. All the mice that were treated with mefenamic acid saw a complete reversal of memory loss, and the mice that weren’t remained unaffected.
Dr. Brough released a statement on the astounding potential cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
“There is experimental evidence now to strongly suggest that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer’s disease worse. 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. Until now, no drug has been available to target this pathway, so we are very excited by this result.”
Brough did caution that trials on animals are not the same as trials on humans, and so more experiments will need to be performed. However, what is encouraging is that mefenamic acid, which is widely available in generic form and multiple brand names, is already well understood. Therefore, the authors of the study indicated that if the further tests into a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease go well, the treatment would be available to Alzheimer’s disease victims far faster than if a new drug had been developed. In the meantime, it has been stressed by the medical community that mefenamic acid should not be used on Alzheimer’s disease patients until further tests are conducted on human subjects as the drug is not without side effects.
More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and it is currently the sixth largest killer. Over a third of elderly Americans die from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, an American is diagnosed with the disease every 66 seconds.
Over the last few decades, as the onset of Alzheimer’s disease has continued to rise as the population gets older, the need and desire to find a cure for the dreaded disease has heightened to a fever pitch. Now, as with diseases that were thought to be a certified death sentence in the past, perhaps this new research into an Alzheimer’s cure will finally put the disease into firmly into the category or treatable conditions.
The University of Manchester Alzheimer’s disease study was published last Thursday in the journal Nature Communications.
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