Alzheimer disease (AD) represents a major medical problem where mono-therapeutic interventions demonstrated only a limited efficacy so far. We explored the possibility of developing a combinational therapy that might prevent the degradation of neuronal and endothelial structures in this disease. We argued that the distorted balance between excitatory (glutamate) and inhibitory (GABA/glycine) systems constitutes a therapeutic target for such intervention. We found that a combination of two approved drugs – acamprosate and baclofen – synergistically protected neurons and endothelial structures in vitro against amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers. The neuroprotective effects of these drugs were mediated by modulation of targets in GABA/glycinergic and glutamatergic pathways. In vivo, the combination alleviated cognitive deficits in the acute Aβ25–35 peptide injection model and in the mouse mutant APP transgenic model. Several patterns altered in AD were also synergistically normalised. Our results open up the possibility for a promising therapeutic approach for AD by combining repurposed drugs.
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