Alzheimer’s Breakthrough As Nasal Spray May Boost Memory

Alzheimer's Breakthrough As Nasal Spray May Boost Memory

Nasal sprays could revolutionize Alzheimer’s treatment by swiftly delivering brain-boosting medicine and improving cognitive function, a new study shows.

This research is the latest in recent years to show showing promising results that support nasal therapy as a potential treatment for degenerative brain conditions .

Researchers at the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Texas, tested a spray containing tiny lipophilic micelles (oil/fat particles that can carry substances through water) on aging mice, administering the treatment through their noses.

These findings could guide the development of more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

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The bulk of recent studies indicating the same outcomes could bring hope to the 6.9 million Americans who are living with Alzheimer’s at present.


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With the global number of sufferers projected to exceed 78 million by 2030, breakthroughs like this are crucial. A model of a human brain being held in a hand. To get an antibody into the brain rapidly, a team put it into tiny packages called micelles and delivered it through mice’s nose. Nasal sprays are a promising new treatment for Alzheimer’s because they deliver medicine directly to the brain quickly and effectively.

The intranasal solution was found to improve their cognitive function . This was achieved through the development of a confirmation-specific antibody (TTCM2)—a type which recognizes and binds to a protein only when that protein is in a specific shape or form.

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These aggregates build up inside cells, and current treatments haven’t been very effective at removing them or improving cognition.

In this case, the antibodies sought out tau, a protein that sits in the neurons of the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, excessive amounts of toxic tau buildup get tangled with normal tau proteins, slowing down a person’s capacity to think, feel, and remember.

Other diseases operate in similar ways—lewy body dementia, and rare conditions such as progressive supranuclear palsy share the same tau-related characteristics that result in the degradation of the brain.

TTCM2 was able to stop the tau from spreading, which is crucial for slowing the disease.

Just one dose of TTCM2 cleared the harmful tau, increased important brain proteins, and improved memory in old mice with tau problems.

It is yet to be determined whether this would benefit humans with the same efficacy, but similar studies in China and Spain that have looked into the concept point to there being adequate evidence that research is moving in that direction.

This research was produced as a result of a grant from The Alzheimer’s Association , whom Newsweek has contacted for comment via email.

You can read the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases findings in full here .

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