Chronic Brain Inflammation: The Neurochemical Basis for Drugs to Reduce Inflammation
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It is now recognised that the brain and the peripheral immune system have bidirectional communication in both health and neuronal diseases. Brain inflammation results after both acute injury and also with the appearance of mutated proteins or endogenous neurotoxic metabolites associated with slow neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and some psychiatric disorders. Microglia play a key role in brain inflammation by the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and with ageing, microglia exhibit ‘priming’ leading to increased basal release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines. Neurochemical targets to reduce or slow chronic brain inflammation include cyclooxygenase enzymes, Nrf2 transcription factor, angiotensin AT1 receptors and sigma-1 receptors. Development of more selective drugs to act at these targets is occurring but large scale clinical trials to validate the drugs will take significant time.
KeywordsBrain inflammation Chronic neurodegenerative diseases Microglia Cytokines Cyclooxygenase inhibitors Angiotensin AT1 receptor antagonists Sigma-1 receptors
BJ is pleased to contribute a paper to this special issue honouring Philip Beart who has been a collaborator and friend for 38 years. May Phil’s lifelong attention to physical and mental exercises, healthy eating and sensible ingestion of red wine with family and friends keep chronic brain inflammation away.
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