Painkiller slows memory loss

A common painkiller associated with menstrual cramps could be a tool to reversing memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease, researchers assert.

The anti-inflammatory drug mefenamic acid was given to mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer's. Another group of similar mice received placebos.

After a one-month period, researchers at the University of Manchester in England discovered that mice given mefenamic acid had memory levels similar to mice that were Alzheimer's-free.

The investigators said mefenamic acid targets a “pro-inflammatory” pathway that's known to damage brain cells.

“There is experimental evidence now to strongly suggest that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer's disease worse," said David Brough, Ph.D. 

Results of the study appeared in Nature Communications