Can aspirin reduce Alzheimers disease symptoms?

Desiree Burns
July 4, 2018

"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.

To slow down the disease, scientists have looked into the process of improving the removal of waste from a patient's brain, the goal being elimination - or at least a slowing - of the illness.

The exact causes of Alzheimer's, and what makes the disease progress, are unknown.

The study administered a low oral dose of aspirin for one month to mice that had been engineered to have similar pathology to Alzheimer's disease.

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

"Understanding how plaques are cleared is important to developing effective drugs that stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease". Studies also show it may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

"The amyloid reducing effects of aspirin were shown in cells in a dish and in a single mouse model of Alzheimer's disease with relatively few mice per group".

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Building on previous studies demonstrating a link between aspirin and reduced risk and prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, Pahan's team showed amyloid plaque pathology can be decreased with aspirin because it stimulates lysosomes - the part of animal cells that help clear cellular debris.

The chemical in question is called PPARA (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha).

Dr Sara Imarisio, head of research of Alzheimer's Research UK which is partnering with the University of Oxford on a broader study on the same subject said, said: 'Aspirin is a commonly taken medicine for a number of health conditions, but there has been little research to examine potential benefits for Alzheimer's disease.

'Pharmacological compounds targeting TFEB as a therapeutic strategy in Alzheimer's disease are still understudied.

These findings, the article argued, suggest that low-dose aspirin may be used in lowering storage materials in Alzheimer's as well as lysosomal storage disorders.

A new study has found that aspirin may reduce the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain.

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