Potential drugs from Alzheimer's disease have been found hundred years ago.
A new study by scientists from the Auckland Research Center showed that the substance known - methylene blue - has been known for over a century, may slow down or even treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The search for the cure for these diseases, which would be capable, if not completely cured, at least slow down their development, last for many years.
However, recently scientists have discovered potential drugs in methylene blue - a drug known for over a century. In small concentrations comparable to several drops of substance diluted in water equivalent to the volume of four large basins, this substance slows down cell aging and enhances the function of mitochondria.
Influence on mitochondria
Researchers have found that methylenovirus reduces the mitochondrial function, in particular the reduction of the activity of an important enzyme, called complex IV. Given that mitochondria are the main suppliers of energy in all human and animal cells, their normal functioning is of paramount importance.
The results of the research turned out to be promising. Later, scientists want to try to prevent manifestations of physical and cognitive problems associated with aging. A sufficient number of able-bodied mitochondria is key to preventing diseases and disorders associated with aging, such as Alzheimer's.
Medications for dementia?
Methylene blue was first discovered in 1891, and is currently used to treat methemoglobinemia, blood diseases. But since it was known that high concentrations of methylene blue damage the brain, nobody ever thought of experimenting with low concentrations of this substance. In addition, drugs like methylene blue, hardly reach the brain.
This study has for the first time shown that low concentrations of the drug can slow down cellular aging in cell cultures and in laboratory animals. In the long run, methylene blue may become another common and cheap drug, like aspirin, for the treatment of people with cardiovascular disease.