Repurposed Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in Alzheimer Disease: Marwan Sabbagh, MD

March 11, 2021
Marwan Sabbagh, MD

The director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and neurologist at Cleveland Clinic discussed the research opportunities for repurposed anti-inflammatory drugs for Alzheimer disease.

"It has come and gone and come and gone, but now it’s coming back into vogue again. Not on the COX side, but on this other pathway. That’s appealing, right? Because it’s a targetable space.”

A recently initiated study will explore whether lenalidomide, an FDA-approved cancer treatment, can reduce inflammation and other disease-related neuropathological features in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Lenalidomide is among a number of multipurpose agents which have demonstrated several effects on the immune system in cancer patients, and in this case, comes with an already established safety and toxicity profile.

According to Marwan Sabbagh, MD, if the study is successful and shows any signal of anti-inflammatory approach, researchers will be quick to rush back into the inflammation research space. Sabbagh, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Neurologist at Cleveland Clinic, will be leading the project alongside his colleague Boris Decourt, PhD.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Sabbagh provided his thoughts on whether the success of lenalidomide will increase the number of Alzheimer disease clinical trials for other repurposed drugs that demonstrate inflammation reduction. He also answered questions on whether there is an appropriate range to which drugs can be observed.