Dementia drug one step closer

A Victorian Alzheimer’s patient has become the first in the world to be given the breakthrough drug Anavex, which, it is hoped, will revolutionise treatment for the insidious cognitive disease.

Alfred Health was chosen as the first institution to commence the trials of the new drug for dementia patients. The hospital was approached because of the reputation of its clinical trial teams, which have over 30 years experience.

Anavex is unlike current medications – it not only treats the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but also slows down the progression of the disease. According to Director of Aged Care Psychiatry at Caulfield Hospital, Associate Professor Steve Macfarlane: “Existing drug treatments for Alzheimer’s solely improve a patient’s symptoms, but don’t halt or cure the disease, which is why the most recent trials are focusing on being able to modify the disease to slow or stop its progression.”

“This trial – Anavex 2-73 – is unique and exciting because it aims to both improve memory and slow the disease. Another feature of the Anavex trial is the absence of a placebo; all participants in the study will receive the active drug”, he said. “Ultimately, we are hoping to find treatments that can prevent, halt or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s.”

Caulfield Hospital is actively recruiting patients for the trial. For more information about the study, or to find out if you qualify to participate, email

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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