The most common cause of dementia among older people, Alzheimer's disease, currently has no effective drugs to stop, slow or prevent disease progression.
A study online December 5th in the ISSCR's journal Stem Cell Reports
, published by Cell Press, provide interesting clues on why non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which have successfully treated molecular signs of Alzheimer's disease in cell and animal models, eventually failed in clinical studies. Whereas the compounds worked in non-neuronal cells lines typically used in pharmaceutical drug screening, the authors found that human neurons are resistant to this class of drugs. "The results of our study are significant for future drug development approaches, because they imply that compound screening and validation studies might be much more reliable if they are conducted using the human cell type affected by the disease in question," says Oliver Brüstle of the University of Bonn who senior-authored the study together with his colleague Philipp Koch.