Utilizing Niacin, a team can modify Alzheimer's progression in an animal model

Utilizing Niacin, a team can modify Alzheimer's progression in an animal model ...

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine found that niacin limits Alzheimers disease progression when used in laboratory experiments, a finding that might lead to therapeutic approaches to the disease.

In an Alzheimers disease animal model, a recent research is examining how niacin modulates microglia''s responses to amyloid plaques.

The study successfully led by Gary Landreth, PhD, Martin Professor of Alzheimers Research, and Marcel Moutinho, a PhD, postdoctoral fellow in anatomy, cell biology, and physiology.

According to Moutinho, this study identifies a possible novel therapeutic target for Alzheimers disease, which may be modified by FDA-approved drugs. The translational potential of this strategy to clinical use is huge.

Niacin, which maintains metabolism throughout the body, is primarily obtained through a standard diet; it can also be taken in supplements and cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to Moutinho. However, the brain, however, uses niacin in a different way.

Niacin interacts with a highly-selective receptor, HCAR2, that is available in immune cells linked to amyloid plaques. According to Landreth, when niacinused in this study as the FDA approved Niaspan medication activates the receptor, it stimulates beneficial actions from these immune cells.

Animal models from Alzheimer''s disease received niacin, but they ended up with less plaques, and they have improved cognition, according to Landreth, and we directly demonstrated that these actions were due to the HCAR2 receptor.

People who had higher levels of niacin in their diet had reduced risk of the disease, according to Landreth. Niacin is also being used in clinical trials in Parkinsons disease and glioblastoma.

Landreth and Moutinho are working with Jared Brosch, an associate professor of clinical neurology, to develop the effects of niacin and the human brain.

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