Cancer drug reverses Alzheimer's in mice
Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health say they have found that a cancer drug may be effective in reversing the memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease. The drug bexarotene (Tagretin) - approved by the FDA for cutaneous T cell lymphoma – was found to improve cognitive deficits in mice, according to the researchers.
The study, published in the journal Science, examined previously published outcomes on bexarotene. The researchers said they found that the drug does notably improve cognitive deficits in mice expressing gene mutations associated with Alzheimer’s, though they could not verify its effect on amyloid plaques.
The study raised hopes that the drug can elevate memory and rapidly clear amyloid plaques from the brain, which are known to damage neurons and cause memory deficits. Since the study was published, however, several scientists have responded to point out other research has not shown that amyloid plaques can are cleared through the use of bexarotene.