Study highlights Alzheimer’s hope

 Researchers have found that drugs used to treat inflammation as a result of psoriasis may be able to reduce the effects and onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study conducted on mice found an improvement in short-term memory and that the build-up of protein, which is believed to kill brain cells, was reduced.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that anti-inflammatory drugs were becoming a “key player” in treating the disease.

According to data published in Nature Medicine, researchers injected an antibody which led to a 31% reduction in beta-amyloid plaques. Tests on older mice who demonstrated symptoms of Alzheimer’s also showed that short-term memory was reduced “substantially”, report authors said.

“Based on the safety data in patients, clinical studies could now be implemented without delay,” said report authors. “Now, the goal is to bring the new therapeutic approach to Alzheimer patients quickly.”

Dr Ridley said the findings add “further support for the role of the immune system in Alzheimer’s” but warned more studies were needed.

“Early studies like these are crucial to help highlight new targets for drug development, but we need to be careful not to assume that what is true for mice is true for men,” he said. “Before any new Alzheimer’s drug can reach patients, first it must be rigorously tested in clinical trials.”