A prescription medication taken by millions of people who suffer from arthritis may help reverse the damage of Alzheimer's. Salsalate (the drug's generic name) is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever and a close relative to aspirin--and the latest study testing its effects on Alzheimer's and dementia has been called "promising" by experts.
In lab tests involving mice, salsalate was able to reduce the accumulation of a toxic protein called tau, which builds up in the brain and destroys healthy cells. The drug also helped mice suffering from frontotemporal dementia, which destroys the parts of the brain responsible for personality, behavior, and language.
While salsalate isn't being studied in people suffering from Alzheimer's yet, researchers are looking at its effects on patients with another brain disorder known as progressive supranuclear palsy. It's hoped that the effects of the drug on that condition will prove useful for patients with Alzheimer's in the very near future.
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