Published on: September 27, 2015
by Rebekah Marcarelli for Headlines & Global News:
Scientists have discovered the rheumatoid arthritis drug salsalate reverses tau-related dysfunction in an animal model of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), potentially offering new hope for Alzheimer’s patients.
Salsalate inhibits tau acetylation, which is a chemical process that can change the properties of certain proteins, and may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, the Gladstone Institutes reported. Acetylated tau was shown to cause neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits, but salsalate proved to effectively reverse these harmful effects in a mouse model of FTD.
“We identified for the first time a pharmacological approach that reverses all aspects of tau toxicity,” said co-senior author Li Gan, an associate investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. “Remarkably, the profound protective effects of salsalate were achieved even though it was administered after disease onset, indicating that it may be an effective treatment option.”
Scientists have been looking at tau as the driver of dementia for some time now, but there are currently no drugs available that effectively target the protein. This new therapy was shown to reduce tau levels in the brain, restore memory, and protect against hippocampus atrophy in the mouse models. Salsalate can inhibit the enzyme p300 in the brain, which is elevated in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and can lead to acetylation. Blocking tau acetylation using the arthritis drug proved to enhanced tau turnover and reduce tau brain levels, in turn reducing tau-induced memory deficits and loss of brain cells.
“Targeting tau acetylation could be a new therapeutic strategy against human tauopathies, like Alzheimer’s disease and FTD,” says co-senior author Eric Verdin,, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. “Given that salsalate is a prescription drug with a long-history of a reasonable safety profile, we believe it can have immediate clinical implications.”
The findings were published in a recent edition of the journal Nature Medicine.
Staying socially connected is extremely important for our overall health, including our brain health. A 2019 review article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that various aspects of social isolation, including low levels...
Although it’s great to celebrate the big achievements, it’s also important to celebrate the small wins.
Women are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in much larger numbers than men. Approximately two-thirds of Canadians and Americans living with dementia are women. Why are women disproportionately affected? Partly, it...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.