Scientists halt memory decay in mice with ‘painless’ nasal therapy

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Recent research suggests that inflammation plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease.Treatment strategies to reduce inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease have failed or resulted in side effects.

Now, however, a study has found that the noninvasive intranasal application of medication can halt memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s.

Scientists hope to utilize this for possible treatment in humans.

It is estimated that more than 55 million peopleTrusted Source worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for 60% to 70% of that number. In the U.S. alone, six million live with this debilitating form of memory loss.

There is no cure for AD. While much remains unknown about the disease, scientists increasingly suspect that neuroinflammation may play a role.

Now, researchers from Karolinska Institute in Sweden and LSU Health New Orleans have released a study that suggests a comparatively simple way of investigating inflammation’s effect on AD and possibly treating it.

The study’s authors successfully halted memory loss in mice with AD with the noninvasive, intranasal delivery of a compound known to resolve neuroinflammation.

The study was published in the journal Communications BiologyTrusted Source.

Dr. Tharick Pascoal, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Pitt), who was not involved in the study, told Medical News Today:

“These results are important because they support the idea that it is possible that the use of a noninvasive intranasal delivery method can lead to an effective therapeutic effect on the brain of AD patients, contrasting to more complicated intravenous infusion methods.”

“In addition,” said Dr. Pascoal, the study’s “findings support the idea that an anti-inflammatory effect imposed on the AD brain may have a protective, rather than deleterious effect. Several previous studies have shown to halt AD progression in animal models, [but] have not confirmed the results in live humans.”

Dr. Pascoal was the lead author of a 2021 studyTrusted Source providing evidence of neuroinflammation’s importance in AD. The role of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Researchers have understood that AD disrupts communication between the brain’s neurons for some time.

The disease deposits amyloid plaques between neurons which block their interconnectivity, and produces neurofibrillary tangles of tau proteins inside neurons that prevent them from functioning.

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