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Friday, 6 July 2018

Aspirin could be a new ray of hope to Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, a type of dementia, that adversely affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It majorly affects elderly of 65 years and above, but there are chances of early onset of the disorder. There are approximately 9.9 million people suffering from the disease, with one new case every 3.2 seconds (source: The Global Voice on Dementia).

Alzheimer's disease is mainly caused by the accumulation of toxic beta-amyloid (plagues) due to its impaired clearance mechanism from the hippocampal region of the brain. Lysosomes are the major cellular degradative machinery that plays a pivotal role in cell homeostasis. Its abnormal functioning leads to a number of neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer's being of them.

Image source: Google Images
Aspirin has been known to enhance the lysosomal biogenesis in the brain cells by upregulating the transcription factor EB, which is the main regulator of lysosome synthesis. Researchers at the University Medical Centre, Chicago conducted various experiments on mice based on the above findings. They concluded that low-dose of aspirin administered orally can stimulate lysosomal biogenesis and thus, helping in clearance of stored toxic compounds in brain cells in Alzheimer's disease and other storage disorders.

Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is one of the widely used medications around the world for alleviating pain, fever, and inflammation. It is also an anticoagulant that works by inhibiting carboxylase enzyme and reduces both platelet aggregation and the following coagulation. Thus, also used in the long-term to prevent heart attacks, ischemic strokes, and blood clots.

Unleashing the new role of aspirin have helped in design new treatment regimen that could help in unraveling the mysteries of Alzheimer's disease.

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