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Prion diseases are fatal and at present there are neither cures nor therapies available to delay disease onset or progression in humans. Inspired in part by therapeutic approaches in the fields of Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we tested five different drugs, which are known to efficiently pass through the blood-brain barrier, in a murine prion model. Groups of intracerebrally prion-challenged mice were treated with the drugs curcumin, dapsone, ibuprofen, memantine and minocycline. Treatment with antibiotics dapsone and minocycline had no therapeutic benefit. Ibuprofen-treated mice showed severe adverse effects, which prevented assessment of therapeutic efficacy. Mice treated with low- but not high-dose curcumin and mice treated with memantine survived infections significantly longer than untreated controls (P<0.01). These results encourage further research efforts to improve the therapeutic effect of these drugs.