Researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University believe that they may be in the early stages of a breakthrough with the development of a new drug that can treat a variety of brain injuries. A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience has revealed that testing of this drug on mice that have been engineered with Alzheimer’s disease has been positive in holding the disease’s advancement at bay.
Traumatic brain injuries and various illnesses are all typically connected by the symptom of inflammation. This drug, as displayed in the testing procedures, has been successful at subsiding inflammation, which could eventually prove to be beneficial in finding long-term cures or treatments for additional diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, as well as head and brain trauma.
According to Red Orbit, professor D. Martin Watterson co-authored the study and believes that this particular drug could become the centerpiece of a significant new treatment for brain injuries.
“This could become part of a collection of drugs you could use to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s.
“In Alzheimer’s disease, many people now view the progression from mild cognitive impairment to full-blown Alzheimer’s as an indication of malfunctioning synapses, the pathways that allow neurons to talk to each other. And high levels of proinflammatory cytokines can contribute to synaptic malfunction.”
“We need more studies of therapeutic time windows in models of these other diseases so we can better plan future clinical trials.”
The drug has also shown to work well in mice that have MS, and it has also worked in slowing the inflammation process with them. While the success of fighting inflammation in two severe brain diseases is promising, any treatment for brain injuries requires immediate attention. However, the mice that received this treatment showed significant progress upon examination 11 months later. Mice that didn’t receive the drug had deteriorated and their responses were far worse.
It is believed that this drug, if administered in proper, consistent doses at the right time after diagnosis, could help fight against memory loss and learning in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, prevent relapses for patients with MS, and fight strokes in victims of traumatic brain injuries.