Reversing memory deficits and impairments in spatial learning is a major goal in dementia research. A lack of knowledge about cellular pathways critical to the development of dementia has prevented significant clinical advance. Researchers are breaking through that barrier. They show, for the first time in an animal model, that a drug can reverse tau pathology -- the second-most important lesion in the brain in patients with Alzheimer's
"Inflammation was completely gone from tau mice treated with the drug," Dr. Praticò said. "The therapy shut down inflammatory processes in the brain, allowing the tau damage to be reversed."
The study is especially exciting because zileuton is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of asthma. "Leukotrienes are in the lungs and the brain, but we now know that in addition to their functional role in asthma, they also have a functional role in dementia," Dr. Praticò explained.
"This is an old drug for a new disease," he added. "The research could soon be translated to the clinic, to human patients with Alzheimer's disease."
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