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New Nasal Spray Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Osaka City University creates a combination of rifampicin and resveratrol and have shown in mouse models that the Nasal administration improves cognitive function without the negative liver side effects.Dementia occurs when proteins called amyloid-β, tau, and α-synuclein accumulate in the brain and form oligomers.

A research group from the Department of Translational Neuroscience, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, had previously shown in a study using mice that the antibiotic rifampicin removes oligomers from the brain and improves cognitive function. The drug has been associated with side effects such as liver damage. Resveratrol, a naturally occurring antioxidant in plants, is used as a supplement in Europe and the United States.

Professor Takami Tomiyama, who acted as lead investigator for the current study says that to combat the negative side effects of the existing drug rifampicin, we thought of combining it with the hepatoprotective effects of resveratrol. The research group administered a fixed dose combination of rifampicin and resveratrol Nasal five days a week for a total of four weeks to mice models of Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and observed their cognitive functions and brain pathology. It showed the combination improved the cognitive function of the mice, inhibited the accumulation of oligomers, and restored synaptophysin levels – presynaptic proteins that facilitate synapses.

The blood levels of liver enzymes, a marker of hepatic damage that normally increases with rifampicin, remained normal in the fixed-dose combination.The increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression were observed in the hippocampus, which was not seen with rifampicin alone. These results indicate that this fixed-dose combination is superior to rifampicin alone in terms of both safety and efficacy. The results of this study were published online in the Swiss scientific journal Frontiers in Neuroscience on December 13, 2021.

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