In Canada, researchers are gearing up for an exciting set of trials to test out a new Alzheimer’s drug. The substance blocks plaque from developing, thus reducing toxic damage in patient’s brain. With great success in animal trials, the researchers — who hail from the University of Toronto, Ontario — will be starting the human tests this month.
The drug, which doesn’t have an official name yet, is formed from a molecule called “scyllo-cyclohexanehexol” (AZD-103). In the brains of mice, it stopped plaque from sticking together; thus the brain was left with less damage. Memory and cognitive abilities were better in the test group than in those receiving no treatment.
The drug seemed to help when it was administered before and after the condition’s symptoms became apparent. The hope is that this drug can produce the same effects in human subjects without causing any dangerous or unpleasant side effects. Animal studies showed good safety and tolerability — the researchers hope that this will be reiterated in the human subjects as well.
Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that isn’t yet fully understood. In recent years, we’ve learned that genetics play a big role in this disease, but that lifestyle can also impact how swiftly this condition develops. Toxic substances start building up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. These substances, known as “amyloid â peptides” or “plaque” seem to block the synapses, making memory and cognitive abilities less effective over time. Eventually, the disease will be fatal.
Luckily, research into this disease is intensive and modern medicine is making great advances in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.