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Asthma drug shows potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s

Published Date : 2020-07-08

Asthma drug shows potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative progress disease and is the most common cause of dementia. Over 47 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s worldwide, and it is expected to affect more than 130 million by 2050. Currently, there are no effective treatments to cure or decelerate the progression of this disease. However, a new early-stage study reveals the potential of the drug, salbutamol, commonly used for asthma, as a treatment approach for Alzheimer’s disease. The extensive and comprehensive research carried out by the research team at Lancaster University demonstrates the efficacy of salbutamol shrinking the buildup of tau proteins found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

The fibres are responsible for the destabilization of neural chemistry and play an active role in the progression of the disease. The research study used an advanced screening procedure called Synchroton Radiation Circular Dichroism to exploit the misfolding structure of the tau proteins. The process enabled them to examine several compounds for determining their efficacy at decelerating tau protein fibril synthesis. Further testing revealed salbutamol had the highest efficacy for inhibiting tau protein aggregation in vitro. The results indicated that addition of salbutamol dynamically diminished the tau fibres and their subsequent neurofibrillary tangles by interfering with the early stages of the fibre formation. Salbutamol exhibits potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and has undergone numerous safety reviews. It could be a pivotal step in reducing the drug development process if the drug exhibits an increased ability to decelerate Alzheimer’s disease in animal models, claims Dr. David Townsend, lead author of the research. Further research is being done on developing a new delivery system for the drug.

In the next phase, research is being carried out to screen for compounds similar to salbutamol, which might stay in the bloodstream for a longer period. Most primary research for finding a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s has been done on amyloid plaques with little to no success, and hence research studies are now exploring tau proteins for the same.