A compound developed to treat neuropathic pain has shown potential as a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.
Researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and Anesthesiology Institute note the compound interacts with a receptor in the brain that plays a role in the neurodegenerative processes in Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our findings show it could represent a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Mohamed Naguib, M.D., professor of anesthesiology.
“Development of this compound as a potential drug for Alzheimer’s would take many more years, but this is a promising finding worthy of further investigation.”
The compound, MDA7, induced beneficial immune responses that limited the development of the disease, according to the researchers.
Treatment with MDA7 restored cognition, memory and synaptic plasticity, a key neurological foundation of learning and memory, in an animal model.
Neuroinflammation is an important factor in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers note.
MDA7 has anti-inflammatory properties that act on the CB2 receptor — one of the two cannabinoid receptors in the body — without the negative side effects normally seen with cannabinoid compounds.
The study was published online in the Neurobiology of Aging.
Source: Cleveland Clinic