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Cancer drug 'could help with memory' for Alzheimer's patients

Cancer drug 'could help with memory' for Alzheimer's patients
8th September 2009

A drug regularly used to treat cancer could be instead applied to people with Alzheimer's disease in order to restore memory deficits, new research suggests.

The Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center discovered that by using the cancer drug, it is possible to unravel DNA and open it up to make it more accessible to neurons.

Alzheimer's disease usually causes these to contract or impairs the unwrapping stage, meaning memories cannot be accessed too easily.

Mauro Fa, the co-author of the report and an associate research scientist in Columbia's Taub Institute, said: "Because this type of drug has already been approved for some cancer patients we hope that clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease can start in about three to four years.

The Alzheimer's Society reports there are 700,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to one million by 2025.

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