A new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer’s disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer’s.
“A protein that is released during rheumatoid arthritis into the blood seems to get into the brain and prevent Alzheimer’s disease from getting hold.” said Dr. Huntington Potter, Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Clinical Centerat the University of Colorado.
The protective protein known as GMCSF is also an ingredient in the drug leukine, approved by the FDA to treat leukemia. “This drug is very special because it seems to not only get rid of amyloid deposits in the brain but encourage the growth of new neurons.” Said Dr. Potter.
The drug was studied in mice and found to be effective at halting Alzheimer’s disease. Human trials are next.
University of Colorado researchers will continue to study this new drug as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, but say definitive results are still a few years away.