Synonyms: Avlosulfon, Diaminodiphenylsulfone, DDS
Chemical Name: 4-[(4-aminobenzene)sulfonyl]aniline
Therapy Type: Small Molecule
Target Type: Other
Condition(s): Alzheimer's Disease
U.S. FDA Status: Alzheimer's Disease (Inactive)
Company: Immune Network Ltd.
Approved for: Leprosy, malaria, some bacterial skin infections
Dapsone is a small molecule with anti-inflammatory immunosuppressive properties as well as antibacterial and antibiotic properties. It is used clinically to treat leprosy and malaria, and is being investigated for the treatment of a variety of skin infections. Dapsone acts against bacteria and protozoa by inhibiting the synthesis of dihydrofolic acid through competition with para-amino-benzoate for the active site of dihydropteroate synthetase. According to Drugbank.ca, the anti-inflammatory action of the drug is unrelated to its antibacterial action and is not fully understood.
Many studies have linked Alzheimer's disease with inflammation (Halliday et al., 2000) and epidemiological evidence suggests a reduced risk of AD in patients who take anti-inflammatory medications (McGeer et al., 1996), including those with leprosy (McGreer et al., 1992). However, other studies have not observed reduced prevalence of AD in leprosy patients chronically taking anti-inflammatory medication (Goto et al., 1995).
- McGeer PL, Schulzer M, McGeer EG. Arthritis and anti-inflammatory agents as possible protective factors for Alzheimer's disease: a review of 17 epidemiologic studies. Neurology. 1996 Aug;47(2):425-32. PubMed.
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