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New medication could help mild Alzheimer's patients

New medication could help mild Alzheimer's patients
1st May 2008

A clinical trial has suggested that a new medication can slow the effects of Alzheimer's in patients with a mild form of the condition.

Research outlined in the journal The Lancet Neurology shows that tarenflurbil – which selectively and safely lowers amyloid-beta-42, a plaque associated with Alzheimer's – showed that the drug had benefits for a number of patients.

During the trial, which took place in association with the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, some 210 participants were randomly assigned to receive a 400 mg or 800 mg does of the medication or a placebo drug.

In patients with mild Alzheimer's disease, the 800 mg dose of tarenflurbil was noticeably better than the placebo in slowing the decline in activities of daily living and global function, but it had little effect on cognitive ability.

Patients with a moderate form of the condition saw no functional benefits from taking the medication.

Speaking about the results, lead researcher Dr Gordon Wilcock said: "We will know more about the value of an anti-amyloid approach after the phase III studies report, but it implies that disease modifying strategies may be on the horizon."

This follows news that people whose parents both suffer from Alzheimer's are more likely to develop the condition themselves.

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