New Alzheimer’s treatment raises prospect of slowing mental decline

A new drug under development appears to ‘turn off’ the production of toxic materials in the brain which are believed to lead to Alzheimer’s symptoms.

As reported in the Guardian, and published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers working with the pharmaceutical company Merck have created a tablet which appears to prevent the production of toxic proteins which in turn create ‘plaques’ in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.  A leading theory is that these ‘plaques’ destroy neurons in the brain, leading to mental decline and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  As such, medication which either destroys these plaques or, in the case of this experimental drug, prevent them forming in the first place could offer preventative treatment.  Further clinical trials are planned, which should assess whether the drug has the effect of slowing or arresting mental decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

If you are worried about your risk of Alzheimer’s, or are worried about someone you know, there is a range of information available from sources such as the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK.