Study: Aspirin has potential to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s

FILE - Packages of "Aspirin" medication are seen Aug. 15, 2007, in the pharmaceutical plant of the Bayer company in Bitterfeld, eastern Germany. (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new study says Aspirin has the potential to treat multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute and John Hopkins University in Baltimore found a component of aspirin, salicylic acid, can help block cell death associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

According to the study, senior author Daniel Klessig, a professor at Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University has studied salicylic acid mainly in plants for years. He found several targets in plants that are affected by salicylic acid, the hormone for regulating a plant immune system, have many of the same targets found in humans.

Researchers discovered that salicylic acid is also effective at stopping GAPDH (Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase), a central enzyme in glucose metabolism that plays additional roles in the cell from moving into the nucleus that leads to cell death.

The study found GAPDH is a target for salicylate drugs related to aspirin, which may be relevant to the therapeutic actions of such drugs.

“A better understanding of how salicylic acid and its derivatives regulate the activities of GAPDH and HMGB1, coupled with the discovery of much more potent synthetic and natural derivatives of salicylic acid, provide great promise for the development of new and better based treatments of a wide variety of prevalent, devastating diseases,” said Klessig.

Researchers said this study is a promising step toward developing new treatments.

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