Woman with dementia

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There isn’t any drug that slows the tempo of dementia

Scientists hope they’ve discovered a drug to cease all neurodegenerative mind illnesses, together with dementia.

In 2013, a UK Medical Analysis Council workforce stopped mind cells dying in an animal for the first time, creating headline information world wide.

However the compound used was unsuitable for folks, because it prompted organ harm.

Now two medication have been discovered that ought to have the identical protecting impact on the mind and are already safely utilized in folks.

“It is actually thrilling,” stated Prof Giovanna Mallucci, from the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester.

She desires to begin human medical trials on dementia sufferers quickly and expects to know whether or not the medication work inside two to 3 years.

Why would possibly they work?

The novel strategy is concentrated on the pure defence mechanisms constructed into mind cells.

When a virus hijacks a mind cell it results in a build-up of viral proteins.

Cells reply by shutting down almost all protein manufacturing with a view to halt the virus’s unfold.

Many neurodegenerative illnesses contain the manufacturing of defective proteins that activate the identical defences, however with extra extreme penalties.

The mind cells shut down manufacturing for therefore lengthy that they ultimately starve themselves to loss of life.

This course of, repeated in neurons all through the mind, can destroy motion, reminiscence and even kill, relying on the illness.

It’s thought to happen in lots of types of neurodegeneration, so safely disrupting it may deal with a variety of illnesses.

Within the preliminary examine, the researchers used a compound that prevented the defence mechanism kicking in.

It halted the progress of prion illness in mice – the primary time any neurodegenerative illness had been halted in any animal.

Additional research confirmed the strategy may halt a variety of degenerative illnesses.

The findings have been described as a “turning level” for the sector though the compound was poisonous to the pancreas.


  • A neurodegenerative illness is one wherein the cells of the mind and spinal twine are misplaced
  • The capabilities of those cells embody determination making and management of actions
  • These cells are usually not simply regenerated, so the results of illnesses will be devastating
  • Neurodegenerative illnesses embody Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, a number of sclerosis and Huntington’s

Supply: London Mind Centre

Secure medication?

Since 2013, the analysis group has examined greater than 1,000 ready-made medication on nematode worms, human cells in a dish and mice.

Two have been proven to stop each a type of dementia and prion illness by stopping mind cells dying.

Prof Mallucci informed the BBC Information web site: “Each have been very extremely protecting and prevented reminiscence deficits, paralysis and dysfunction of mind cells.”

One of the best recognized drug of the pair is trazodone, which is already taken by sufferers with melancholy.

The opposite, DBM, is being examined in most cancers sufferers.

Prof Mallucci stated: “It is time for medical trials to see if there’s comparable results in folks and put our cash the place our mouth is.

“We’re impossible to remedy them fully, however should you arrest the development you alter Alzheimer’s illness into one thing fully totally different so it turns into habitable with.”

However, though trazodone is a present medicine, she added: “As knowledgeable, a health care provider and a scientists, I need to advise folks to attend for the outcomes.”

What do the specialists assume?

Dr Doug Brown, from the Alzheimer’s Society, stated: “We’re excited by the potential of those findings, from this nicely performed and sturdy examine.

“As one of many medication is already obtainable as a therapy for melancholy, the time taken to get from the lab to the pharmacy might be dramatically lowered.”

Dr David Dexter, from Parkinson’s UK, stated: “It is a very sturdy and vital examine.

“If these research have been replicated in human medical trials, each trazodone and DBM may symbolize a significant step ahead.”

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