Washington: Researchers have discovered that a compound developed to treat neuropathic pain has the potential to treat Alzheimer`s disease.
Researchers from Cleveland Clinic`s Lerner Research Institute and Anesthesiology Institute found that the compound MDA7 induced beneficial immune responses that limited the development of Alzheimer`s disease.
Treatment with the compound restored cognition, memory and synaptic plasticity a key neurological foundation of learning and memory in an animal model.
"Cleveland Clinic dedicated two years of research into the examination of this compound and our findings show it could represent a novel therapeutic target in the treatment of Alzheimer`s disease," Mohamed Naguib, lead researcher said in a statement.
Neuroinflammation is an important mechanism involved in the progression of Alzheimer`s disease.
The MDA7 compound has anti-inflammatory properties that act on the CB2 receptor one of the two cannabinoid receptors in the body but without the negative side effects normally seen with cannabinoid compounds.
Alzheimer`s disease is an irreversible, fatal brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.
The study was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.