New research in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a frightening condition with rates quickly going up across North America because of an aging population. Not only is it a distressing diagnosis for those it affects, but it is placing an increasing burden on our healthcare system and economy as well.

Unfortunately, we have yet to develop a silver bullet for the treatment of this disease. In fact, I have written before about the lack of truly effective interventions currently available.  To date we haven’t got any treatments that do much to reverse or even slow the degenerative progress of the disease.

Research continues and we must keep trying new ways to approach treatment in hope of finding something that can tackle this condition and improve quality of life and long-term outlook for those living with it.

One novel treatment currently being investigated uses a different approach from the medications currently available to treat Alzheimer’s. The new one is known as a selective 5HT6 receptor antagonist. As the name implies, it focuses on the 5-HT6 receptors in areas of the brain known to be involved in cognition. This is a different focus than the amyloid and tau focus of most previous research in this field.

Early studies with this new compound found promising results when it was combined with a currently available medication (donepezil). Patients showed significant cognitive improvement as well as positive trends in activities of daily living. These were promising preliminary results in phase II studies, which is why phase III is now underway.

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