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£15m dementia drug project launched


A new £15 million research programme could revolutionise treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The Drug Discovery project, backed by the Alzheimer’s Society, aims to find a cure for the degenerative brain disease, which affects an estimated 750,000 people in the UK.

“This is an exciting day in the race to find new treatments and eventually a cure for people with dementia,” said Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society.

“There are not enough clinical trials for dementia happening in the UK which is why Alzheimer’s Society is responding by launching Drug Discovery.”

The project – intended to identify powerful new Alzheimer’s treatments within 10 years – is based on a simple idea. Scientists will test therapies already in use for other conditions to monitor their effectiveness in tackling dementia.

They believe the successful ones could quickly be adapted – and six drugs already identified are being fast-tracked for new studies.

Scientists from the Alzheimer’s Society, who will test the first three drugs over a five to 10-year period at a cost of £15 million, hope these treatments may delay onset of the condition in at-risk patients or even reverse dementia symptoms.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

(Alzheimer’s Society)

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