Common ulcer drugs when combined with an anti-inflammatory medication can offer a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease, reveals new study.
The research team from the University of British Columbia has found that drugs commonly used to treat ulcers have significant neuroprotective properties, which appear to be enhanced when used in combination with ibuprofen, a widely used anti-inflammatory drug.
"Our results show that proton pump inhibitors are also anti-inflammatory agents. They open up an entirely new application for these drugs," said Dr. Sadayuki Hashioka, first author on the paper.
Proton pump inhibitors include lansoprazole and omeprazole. They are remarkably safe drugs, which have so far been used only to treat ulcers and other conditions where there is excess gastric acidity.
These include Helicobacter pylori infections and side effects from treatment with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
The finding that they also have anti-inflammatory potential opens up the possibility of using these drugs in a variety of inflammatory conditions where NSAIDs are now used.
There would be the double effect of protection from gastrointestinal side effects plus enhanced antiinflammatory activity.
"Many epidemiological studies have revealed that individuals on long term treatment with ibuprofen are relatively spared from Alzheimer disease," said Dr. Patrick McGeer, senior investigator on the UBC team,
"Our investigation indicates that individuals taking lansoprezole or omeprazole in addition to ibuprofen might be getting even greater protection.
"It also suggests that a clinical trial of a combination of ibuprofen and a proton pump inhibitor might be effective for those already suffering from Alzheimer disease," he added.
The study is published in Elsevier's Experimental Neurology.