aspirin-alzheimersAspirin treatment reduces amyloid beta burden in the hippocampus of 5XFAD mouse model of ADCREDIT: Chandra et al., JNeurosci (2018)

A low-dose aspirin regimen may represent a new avenue for reducing Alzheimer's disease pathology, according to new research in a mouse model of the disease published in JNeurosci.

The study identifies a new role for one of the most widely used medications in the world.

Although the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease progression is unknown, impaired clearance of toxic amyloid beta, especially from the hippocampus, is a leading mechanism.

Activating the cellular machinery responsible for removing waste from the brain has therefore emerged as a promising strategy for slowing the disease.

Building on studies demonstrating a link between aspirin and reduced risk and prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, Kalipada Pahan and colleagues show that this common over-the-counter medication decreases amyloid plaque pathology in mice by stimulating lysosomes—the component of animal cells that help clear cellular debris. The research adds to aspirin's established uses for pain relief and for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.