A new study reports a widely used heart medication reduced brain plaque build-up in mice. Researchers are wondering if the same is true for humans—and if it could mean a potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Test trials in mice showed plaque formation decreased in deep structures of the brain, where certain memory functions are controlled, when mice were treated with the antiplatelet agent clopidogrel (trade name Plavix), which is used to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of a heart attack.
“We do not know if this is transferrable to humans (or) if the effect would be the same,” says researcher Magnus Grenegård, professor at Örebro University, in a statement. “To find out, new follow-up studies are required. Unfortunately, this is a lengthy process—it will be years before we know. But at least we have identified a new, interesting approach with respect to plaque formation.”
Findings were published in the journal Science Signaling.