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New drug slows Alzheimer’s disease


Researchers have discovered that a new drug could prove at least twice as effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease as current medicines.

The progression of the disease can be slowed by as much as 81% in patients taking the drug Rember, the study found.

People taking Rember for 50 weeks had a slower decline in blood flow to the parts of the brain that are important for memory than those taking a placebo.

It is the first drug to act on the tau tangles that develop in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. These tangles first destroy the nerve cells linked to memory and then destroy neurons in other parts of the brain as the disease progresses.

The study, which is being presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Chicago, focused on 321 people with mild and moderate Alzheimer’s disease in the UK and Singapore. Three groups took different doses of Rember, with a fourth group acting as placebo. The drug had its biggest effect in the parts of the brain linked to memory, where the density of tau tangles is greatest.

Prof Wischik, who co-founded TauRx Therapeutics, which is developing the treatment, said it was “the most significant development in the treatment of the tangles since Alois Alzheimer discovered them in 1907”.

Copyright PA Business 2008

International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease

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“Are there any clinical trials focusing on rember in the Boston area?” – Thomas Kelley, Boston, USA

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