Scientists at the Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan jas created a Nasal Spray that could have the potential to treat and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 


In a trial, the nasal spray significantly improved the cognitive function of mice. And now the team is ready to prepare the nasal spray for human trials.


World Health Organization estimates that around 55 million people in the world are suffering from dementia. 

This number is expected to rise to 139 million in 2050. Even though the number is pretty high, scientists are hoping to look for treatments that could improve the lives of dementia patients.



First author Dr. Tomohiro Umeda said, “The number of patients with dementia has been increasing – with some sources predicting a doubling of patients every 20 years.”

“However, there is still no effective treatment for the disease. Recent studies have shown abnormalities begin to appear in the brains of dementia patients more than 20 years before the onset of the disease,” Tomohiro Umeda added.



So, as a part of their experiment, scientists at the Osaka Metropolitan University have combined two pre-existing drugs called rifampicin and resveratrol. rifampicin is an antibiotic and resveratrol is an antioxidant found in plants.

When they tested the spray in several different mouse models, it was found that the cognitive function of the mice was improved.


Scientists developed Nasal spray that could prevent Alzheimer's disease without causing liver damage
Nasal spray that could prevent Alzheimer’s disease without causing liver damage



“To further secure the safety of nasal rifampicin, we hypothesized that rifampicin’s undesired actions could be antagonized by other compounds. Thus, we explored the literature for a compound that possesses hepatoprotective actions opposite to rifampicin and, if possible, additional clinical effects that rifampicin does not show,” researchers wrote in the new study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

“To explore more effective and safer medicines than rifampicin alone, we tested the therapeutic effects of rifampicin and resveratrol combination using four kinds of mouse models of neurodegenerative dementia,” it said.


Foundational research from 2016 proved that using the antibiotic called rifampicin can reduce the accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain that causes the development of Alzheimer’s. Although, it has some side effects such as liver damage.

“Converted to a human dosage based on body surface area, it becomes 0.081 mg/kg/day,” explains Tomiyama. “Currently, rifampicin is prescribed at 10 mg/kg/day as an antibiotic, and compared to this, we confirmed an effect at a much lower dosage,” said Takami Tomiyama, lead investigator on the new study.

“Following the publication of this paper, Medilabo RFP has begun preparations for global clinical trials,” said Tomiyama.



Researchers thought that injection of the drug through nasal spray would allow the drug to reach the brain directly and more effectively without causing any harm to the liver. 

This treatment method is much more practical and cost-effective than developing new treatments and could diagnose and prevent dementia before neurons start dying.


In 2018, the researchers observed that this nasal spray improved cognitive function and reduced levels of liver toxicity.

After that, they upgraded the nasal spray by adding resveratrol, an antioxidant found in plants. 

Now, the next generation of Alzheimer’s treatment is on the horizon. 


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