Thursday, July 12, 2012

Promising Alzheimer's News

The results of testing of three new drugs may give hope to those with Alzheimer's (or those with a family member suffering the dread condition):
"Results are due within a month or so from key studies of two drugs that aim to clear the sticky plaque gumming up patients' brains.

A pivotal study of a third drug will end later this year, and results from a small, early test of it will be reported next week"
Namenda and Aricept (the two current "leaders") really just ease symptoms, but aren't considered "cures." What's remarkable about these new options is that they're not really "drugs" in the accepted sense, but "anti-bodies." Since we don't really know what causes Alzheimer's, it's something of a gamble, but the payoff could be huge: "if brain imaging or spinal fluid tests show the drugs are hitting their target, 'they will be regarded as successes ... because that would let you know you had a drug that worked."

Time will tell, of course.
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