New Drug Twice as Effective Against Alzheimer's: Study

Treatment breaks apart protein clusters in brain cells of patients with disease
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 4:42 PM CDT
Bill Andrew cares for his wife Carol as they try to manage her Alzheimer's disease in Winter Haven, Florida, on Thursday, April 28, 2005.    (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A new treatment could slow Alzheimer’s patients’ mental decline twice as fast as current drugs, the Chicago Tribune reports. A recent study found that the treatment—a chemical known commercially as “rember” that has been previously used to treat other conditions, and in blue dye—significantly reduces the rate of mental loss by breaking apart protein tangles in the brain.

“The effect size is pretty large for drugs of this class,” one independent expert says, who also notes that the team behind the study has links to a company aiming to sell the treatment. He cautions that more tests need to be done, although the study’s leader says that the drug could be widely available as soon as 2012.