A British study shows that a pill for Alzheimer's could treat the disease by halting the death of neurons. However it could be a decade or more before any medicine is developed.
The Medical Research
Council (MRC) team focused on abnormally shaped
proteins that stick together in clumps and fibers and can trigger a reaction that results in the death of nerve cells.
Using a drug injected into the stomachs of mice, they flipped a cellular switch from off to on to prevent neurons dying. Five
weeks after treatment, one group of mice remained free of symptoms such
as memory loss, impaired reflexes or limb dragging.
suffered serious side effects, including weight loss and raised blood
sugar, and the scientists say human trials are a long way off.
they also believe the research demonstrates in principle the
possibility of developing a pill that can protect the brain from
The experimental drug, known as GSK2606414, is made by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. It
targets an enzyme called PERK which plays a key role in the response of
neurons to the build-up of misfolded proteins in the brain.
If nothing else, I guess there is the security in knowing that many researchers are working on a cure for Alzheimer's and the hope would be it could happen in our lifetimes.