A human stroke drug, fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration and soon entering Phase 3 clinical trials, shows intriguing signs that it might also be a safe and powerful defense against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

A new study published Nov. 30 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine showed the drug, 3K3A-APC, protected mice from injury to the brain’s white matter — the second leading cause of dementia in humans. Such injuries occur when tiny clots block the flow of blood perfusing the brain’s white matter. Over time, these mini-strokes multiply and lead to cognitive decline.

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