A drug that was previously tested for its effects against Alzheimer’s disease – and yielded inconclusive results – is apparently very effective at stopping the brain pathology and memory degeneration usually associated with this form of neurodegenerative dementia.
The discovery was made by investigators at the Mount Sinai School Medicine, who conducted a new series of clinical trials on mice. In a paper published in the July 31 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the team says that the overlooked compounds may have positive effects after all.
“The findings from our animal model studies indicated that this drug should not be discarded, and that, if its mechanism of action can be optimized, it still has potential,” the research group says. The drug in question is called latrepirdine, and is known commercially as Dimebon, Science Blog
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative form of dementia that hinders communication between neurons, primarily through the development of plaques made up of beta-amyloid proteins. There is currently no cure for the disease, which is fatal most of the time.