Byline: P. Douglas Filaroski, Times-Union staff writer
Researchers in Jacksonville and California have found commonly used drugs can reduce a type of brain plaque considered at the root of Alzheimer's disease.
The findings, published in today's journal Nature, provide promise that scientists will soon develop a new drug to protect against the debilitating disease.
"This is very good news," said Diantha Grant of the Alzheimer's Association of Northeast Florida. About 17,000 people locally have the disease.
"It's something we had been wondering about," Grant said. "Now it's has been proven."
Researchers already knew that people taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in high doses showed a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.
But scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and at the University of California at San Diego say they have proven the drugs reduced the harmful protein thought to cause Alzheimer's.
These drugs include ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter medication sold under the brand names Motrin and Advil.
"This holds a lot of promise as a therapeutic application in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease," said Todd Golde, a physician who led the research effort at the Mayo Clinic.
Alzheimer's is a disease of the brain that inflicts about 4. …