Scientists from Osaka City University are reporting successful preclinical tests of a novel nasal spray designed to prevent the neurodegeneration associated with dementia. The spray combines two cheap, pre-existing drugs and was found to improve cognitive function in several different mouse models of dementia.
The new study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, follows on from foundational research in 2016 that discovered a common antibiotic called rifampicin can reduce the accumulation of toxic proteins known to be associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Across several mouse experiments the research indicated the antibiotic could prevent neurodegeneration if administered in the very earliest stages of disease. However, long-term treatment with rifampicin in humans was not particularly feasible due to the drug’s occasional adverse effects on the liver.