A collaborative research between Spain’s Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) and The Rockefeller University in New York, have identified a possible treatment for Alzheimer disease. The medical researchers have shown that treatment with the oral anticoagulant dabigatran delays the appearance of Alzheimer disease in animal models and the discovery could pave the way for human clinical trials that could lead to a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings for the research were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) .
The research indicated that a year of treatment with dabigatran, animal models had no memory loss and no reduction in cerebral circulation. This treatment also reduced typical Alzheimer symptoms,
including cerebral inflammation, blood vessel injury, and amyloid protein plaques.
A common form of dementia, Alzheimer affects more than 35 million individuals worldwide and is growing exponentially. Studies in recent years has linked the disease to a reduction in the cerebral circulation; this results in an insufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen to brain cells, leading to their death. Alzheimer disease is also known to be a multifactorial disorder linked to an underlying chronic prothrombotic state. The present study combined physiological and molecular studies to demonstrate that long-term anticoagulation with dabigatran effectively slows disease progression in transgenic animal models of Alzheimer disease.
Global population aging is predicted to result in a three-fold increase of the number of Alzheimer patients by 2040. A new case of the disease is diagnosed every 3 seconds, and sadly, the treatments available currently only provide a temporary respite from the advance of memory loss and do not stop disease progression or reverse the symptoms.
The already approved pharmaceutical anticoagulant drug, Dabigatran is more effective and has fewer side effects than classical anticoagulants and is also approved for the treatment of several diseases.
Dr Marta Cortés Canteli, a CNIC researcher and coauthor commented in a phone interview with Thailand Medical News
,”This discovery marks an important advance toward the translation of our results to clinical practice to achieve an effective treatment for Alzheimer disease. Winning the battle against Alzheimer disease will require individualized combination therapy targeting the various processes that contribute to this disease. One goal is to improve the cerebral circulation, and our study shows that treatment with oral anticoagulants has the potential to be an effective approach in Alzheimer patients with a tendency to coagulation."
Dr Valentín Fuster, CNIC General Director and a lead author on the study, further commented ,"Neurodegenerative diseases are very closely linked to disease in the cerebral blood vessels. The study of the links between the brain and heart is the major challenge for the next ten years. An individualized treatment strategy such as this will first require the development of a diagnostic tool to identify those Alzheimer patients with a tendency to coagulation. This will be an important line of research in the coming years."
The study involving Dabigatran for Alzheimer disease in animal models spanned almost 6 years. The team next plans to initiate trials in patients while also working on another parallel project to develop proper diagnostic tools for Alzheimer, which is a very extensive project.
Long-Term Dabigatran Treatment Delays Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis in the TgCRND8 Mouse Model, Journal of the American College of Cardiology Volume 74, Iss 15, October2019DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.07.081
Marta Cortes-Canteli, Anna Kruyer, Irene Fernandez-Nueda, Ana Marcos-Diaz, Carlos Ceron, Allison T. Richards, Odella C. Jno-Charles, Ignacio Rodriguez, Sergio Callejas, Erin H. Norris, Javier Sanchez-Gonzalez, Jesus Ruiz-Cabello, Borja Ibanez, Sidney Strickland and Valentin Fuster