New study looks at use of Riluzole to slow Alzheimer's progression
Riluzole is an FDA-approved drug, currently used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig's disease) and is currently in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (Clinical Trial #NCT01703117). The exact reason behind riluzole’s potential benefits on cognition in AD patients is unknown. One potential way may be through altering glutamate signaling in the brain, a neurotransmitter essential for learning and memory.
A team of researchers at the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders at SIU Medicine lead by Kevin N. Hascup, PhD, and Erin R. Hascup, PhD, recently published a study in the Journal of Neurochemistry with the intent to determine the long-term therapeutic benefits of early riluzole treatment in the AβPP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers determined that early intervention with riluzole was able to restore a specific type of communication between cells in the brain, glutamatergic neurotransmission, and delay or prevent learning and memory deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Overall, the results of this study lend further support of the use of riluzole as an early therapeutic intervention strategy to delay or prevent cognitive decline and restore the way cells communicate in the brain.