Alzheimer’s disease could be a thing of the past according to scientists. Studies are under way to develop a statin for the brain, or ‘neurostatin’, that will work in the same way that current statins are taken to ward off heart attacks. Research on amyloid beta, a protein that adheres to and then chokes the brain cells, has discovered that bexarotene, a drug normally used for cancer, successfully halts this process. The same drug has even been shown to actually prevent the disease forming, if given early enough.
May Be Offered To All Adults Under 30
So far no testing has been done on humans, but it is hoped that if further testing is successful, a neurostatin could be offered to all adults under the age of 30 in an attempt to halt the growth of Azheimer’s disease, which is a form of dementia.
Dr Rosa Sancho from Alzheimer’s Research states:
‘ Over the next 35 years, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to go from 40 million to 130 million…The only way of realistically stopping this dramatic rise is through preventative measures.’
Shortcut To Finding A Cure
Currently, existing drugs for Alzheimer’s are able to slow down the symptoms but unfortunately the effects soon wear off. This new research would mean that as statins have been around for a while and have already proved to be successful in the prevention of other medical diseases, the timescale for them becoming available (if studies prove to be correct) should be relatively short.
Dr Doug Brown of Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘We haven’t found any new drugs for dementia in over ten years, and repurposing drugs that already work for other conditions could provide us with a short-cut to new dementia treatments.’