Dementia drug made from pig cells is trialled

Dementia drug made from pig cells is trialled

A new drug made from the brain cells of pigs could be the first treatment that specifically targets a form of dementia that affects around 136,000 people in the UK.

Vascular dementia, the second most common after Alzheimer's, is caused by the narrowing of blood vessels to the brain.

Patients with the condition were given a drug called Cerebrolysin in clinical trials in China and It was shown to increase cognitive ability and memory.

Li He of the Department of Neurology at Sichuan University said: "Our review suggests that Cerebrolysin can help improve cognitive and global function in patients with mild to moderate severity vascular dementia."

Cerebrolysin is not licenced for use in the UK and is made from proteins found in the brains of pigs.

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that although the results are promising, further trials are required to ascertain the benefits for patients in their day-to-day life.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.