Indiana University School of Medicine researchers found that niacin limits Alzheimer’s disease progression when used in models in the lab, a discovery that could potentially pave the way toward therapeutic approaches to the disease.
The study, recently published in Science Translational Medicine, investigates how niacin modulates microglia response to amyloid plaques in an Alzheimer’s disease animal model.
In the brain, niacin interacts with a highly-selective receptor, HCAR2, present in immune cells physically associated with amyloid plaques. When niacin-;used in this project as the FDA-approved Niaspan drug-;activates the receptor, it stimulates beneficial actions from these immune cells, Landreth said.
“After the Alzheimer’s disease animal models received niacin, they ended up with fewer plaques and they have improved cognition,” Landreth said, “and we directly showed that these actions were due to the HCAR2 receptor.” (Sources: news-medical.net, science.org)