Could an arthritis drug also help treat Alzheimer's disease? "Arthritis drug could soon reverse Alzheimer's symptoms after successful tests on mice," The Independent reports. The drug – salsalate – may help regulate levels of the abnormal tau protein associated with Alzheimer's disease, which could improve memory skills.
Salsalate, which belongs to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) class of medicines, has been used for many years. And as The Daily Telegraph points out, it was even mentioned by the 5th century BC physician Hippocrates.
This study was conducted in mice with clumps of tau in their brains. Salsalate was given to the mice and was found to block the process that can lead to a further protein build up. Treated mice also performed better in tests designed to assess memory skills.
While these findings show promise, the studies were conducted in mice and were only conducted for a couple of months.
Further human studies will be required to determine how effective the drug is and over what timescale. But because this drug has already been approved for use in humans, these tests may come sooner rather than later. NHS Choices