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A drug found to “significantly improve” the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is offering new hope to sufferers and their families, according to a study.
On average, people treated with Dimebon showed marked improvement in memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to conduct simple everyday activities like eating.
The drug also continued to reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms over a 12-month period – something no currently-approved medication can do.
Dimebon’s manufacturer, San Francisco-based Medivation, said additional analysis of the data showed the drug could also help sufferers’ families.
Improved behaviour in the patients resulted in a “significant” reduction in carers’ distress and saved them about one hour a day compared to those looking after people receiving a placebo drug.
Alzheimer’s charities welcomed the results of the study, which was funded by Medivation, but said more research was still needed.
Dimebon was previously used as an antihistamine in Russia but is not currently available in the UK.
The research, published in the Lancet medical journal, was led by Dr Rachelle Doody, from the Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders centre at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Medivation president David Hung said: “The Dimebon study is the first study in which a drug has achieved statistically significant benefits of this breadth, size and duration in a one-year, well-controlled trial.”
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