Breakthrough Drug for Alzheimers?

In the press it is claimed that a drug will soon be available to halt the mental decline caused by Alzheimers by clearing the “sticky plaques” in the brain that cause dementia. Scientists have hailed this as the best news for 25 years as the tests show that 6 months into the treatment patients stopped deteriorating. Professor Nitsch of the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich stated although the sample size was small the results have been unprecedented these finding will be built upon”.

It is believed there are 850,000 people living with dementia in Britain and it is likely to be 2 million by 2050. It is a decade since the last Alzheimers drug was licenced in the UK and these reduce the symptoms but have been unable to stop the disease progressing. The drug is most likely to benefit those in early stages of dementia, or people who have yet to demonstrate the full symptoms. Several universities are also working on blood tests which will pick up the disease a decade before physical signs appear.

Richard Morris (Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh) stated “we cannot yet say we have a cure for Alzheimers as this is only a first step …. But its importance as a first step cannot be understated”.

Independent Living Owner (Mark Booker) commented “we care for people with dementia and our work in this area is growing. It is a cruel disease which places pressure on families for many years, often an elderly spouse or grown up children are trying to provide care which is physically and mentally demanding. Any medical breakthrough is great news, and I think the rising press coverage recently about dementia demonstrates it is becoming a more prominent issue in our society. People caring for those with Alzheimers are our unsung heroes”.