Aspirin and Alzheimer's

Aspirin, already one of the most widely used medications in the world, may represent a new avenue for reducing Alzheimer’s disease pathology, according to new research.

The discovery, made via a mouse-model study, was published in JNeurosci, a journal of the Society for Neuroscience.

The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease progression still isn’t known, although imperfect clearance of the peptide amyloid beta, especially from the region of the brain known as the hippocampus, is a leading mechanism. Activating the cellular machinery responsible for removing waste from the brain has therefore emerged as a promising strategy for slowing the disease.

Building on studies demonstrating a link between aspirin and reduced risk and prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, corresponding autgir Kalipada Pahan, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues show that this common over-the-counter medication decreases amyloid plaque pathology in mice by stimulating lysosomes — the component of animal cells that help clear cellular debris. The research adds to aspirin’s established uses for pain relief and for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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