ASPIRN may help cells in the brain clear away a toxic protein at the core of Alzheimer’s, a study suggests.
Low doses of the common pain killer stimulated cells that act as a waste disposal system that ‘clean’ sticky clumps of beta amyloid peptide from the brain.
Genetically engineered mice given the drug had reduced levels of the key hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Study leader Kalipada Pahan, from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, found a low dose of aspirin stimulated the formation of lysosomes — tiny sacs in cells filled with digestive enzymes that help clear away unwanted or harmful material.
The finding ‘holds promising therapeutic potential’, the team wrote in The Journal Of Neuroscience.
However, Tara Spires-Jones, deputy director of the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, cautioned: ‘It is at very early stages.’
And Rob Howard, of University College London, added that clinical trials of aspirin had already been performed on Alzheimer’s patients and ‘had no beneficial effects’.
■ DRINKING six cups of coffee a day cuts the risk of dying young. Those who do are 16 per cent less likely to die from any disease over a ten-year period, a study of 500,000 people in the UK found.