New Drug Candidate Can Protect Against Cognitive Decline

A new antiinflammatory candidate drug, known as 3,6′-dithiopomalidomide (DP), designed by researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), protected lab mice against cognitive decline by reducing brain inflammation.

The research team from the National Institute of Health published their findings in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

AD is the most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. In the US alone, an estimated 5.8 million people aged 65 and older were affected in 2020, which is projected to increase to 13.8 million by 2050.

The objective of the team was to evaluate the new drug in Alzheimer’s disease in mice, to test their hypothesis that neuroinflammation is directly involved in the development of synaptic/neuronal loss and cognitive decline. 

The research provided new evidence that brain inflammation, which occurs decades before the Alzheimer’s symptoms appear, is a key neuropathological pathway of interest in efforts to find potential treatments for the condition. 

The team behind the study used a mice model of Alzheimer’s designed to produce up to five times the normal levels of beta-amyloid plaques, which are a hallmark sign of the disease and that are thought to contribute to the inflammatory response in the brain. 4 months after the treatment with DP, the mice showed reduced brain inflammation and neuron death, while also having more neural connections in brain areas responsible for memory and attention. 

According to the researchers their study provides a way for future AD clinical studies by using immunomodulation imide drug class to decrease neuroinflammation.


Emily Henderson. (2022, Mar 2). Novel drug candidate protects lab mice against cognitive decline by reducing brain inflammation. News Medical Life Sciences. Retrieved from:

Lecca, D., et al. (2022) Role of chronic neuroinflammation in neuroplasticity and cognitive function: A hypothesis. Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

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