One of the leading causes of death in America, Alzheimer’s disease currently has no effective treatment to reverse its course, but Scientists at Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center and Boston Medical Center say several trials will be conducted in order to observe the effects of a newly developed drug known as T-817MA.
The proposed drug seeks to alter the course of the disease in people who already suffer with dementia, an important distinction from current drugs that only slow down the early symptoms that have been linked with the onset of Alzheimer’s, the researchers point out.
If the trials lead to approval of T-817MA by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it will be the first Alzheimer’s drug approved since 2003.
“The changes in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease start maybe 20 years before the first symptoms and then get worse and worse as the disease gets further along,” says Dr. Robert Stern of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
If the trials show positive results then it offers hope of slowing down the development of the disease and help a person with Alzheimer’s maintain a much-improved quality of life without deterioration, he says.
“In my mind, right now, in all the studies that are going on, this is one of the most, if not the most promising approach to try to slow down the disease in someone who is already at the point of having moderate stages of dementia,” Stern says.
There are only five FDA-approved drugs currently in use for treating Alzheimer’s, which affects nearly 5 million Americans presently and is predicted to strike as many as 15 million in the next 5 years as America’s aging population grows.
Alzheimer’s, a neuro-degenerative disease accounting for more than 60 percent of all dementia, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.