A drug currently used to treat asthma may have a role in preventing age-related cognitive decline, an exploratory study suggests.
Treatment with the asthma drug montelukast successfully restored cognitive function and increased the creation of new brain cells in old rats, the results of the study published in Nature Communications showed.
These findings provide an early indication that it may be possible to reduce the effects of ageing-associated cognitive dysfunction using montelukast, an inhibitor of the inflammatory mediator leukotriene, the researchers said.
“Considering the various beneficial effects of montelukast on CNS functions in different animal models, this illustrates that leukotriene receptors and their underlying signalling mechanisms might contribute to the development of many neurological deficits”, they wrote.
“Montelukast, by targeting these mechanisms, might be able to modulate and to improve a number of neurological functions in various CNS diseases,” they concluded.