Results push Alzheimer’s trial into second phase

Drug helps painters and pianists with Alzheimer’s to resume activities.

Alzheimer’s trial delivers results

A trial in Australia to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease is producing results.

Most clinical trials to date have been aimed at removing or slowing a build-up of sticky plaque, known as beta amyloid, which strangles healthy brain cells and destroys memory function.

While scientists are now investigating everything from gut health to hormone imbalance and insulin resistance, a trial in Melbourne using the experimental drug Anavex 2-7 to slow the build-up or remove plaque is producing results.

Associate professor Stephen Macfarlane, head of clinical services at HammondCare, a dementia specialist aged care provider, says that despite intense efforts globally to uncover a way to remove the plaque, the failure rate has been nearly 100 per cent. Until now.

He is leading the second phase of the trial using Anavex 2-73, which appears to remove amyloid plaque but also preserves nerve cells and reduces inflammation in the brain.

Dr Macfarlane said that some people who had participated in the first phase of the trial had made remarkable recoveries.

“We've had people who previously had been accomplished painters, artists, piano players, who resumed those activities,” he said.

“Those sorts of improvements are much more meaningful, in my view, than a two-point improvement on a memory test because they illustrate really life-changing benefits to a person.”

He said the trial was using a completely different approach and a different scientific method.

“There's no point flogging the same dead horse,” he told abc.net.au.

“If you have too many failed attempts, the drug companies back out of drug development and don't pursue it.

“The number of people living with dementia will double in the next 20 years if we don't do anything."

In addition to the Alzheimer’s trial, Anavex has received approval for trialling the drug with Parkinson’s disease and dementia patients.

Professor Ralph Martins, an Alzheimer's researcher from Macquarie University, is one of a group of scientists who believe plaque could be a symptom rather than a cause of Alzheimer's.

“What hormones do is basically suppress the production of this amyloid,” he said. “In men, it's testosterone, and in women, it's oestrogen. Once we get older, our testosterone and oestrogen fall, and that's when the amyloid starts rising."

He is conducting trials using shots of testosterone and fish oil supplements to see if those substances could stop plaque from forming.

Do you closely follow the progress in Alzheimer’s research? Have you participated in a trial?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    MICK
    25th Sep 2018
    10:48am
    I'm not sure I even 'remember' how many such claims have been made in the past. The weight loss industry leads this charge.
    I notice that no renown team is doing this 'research'.
    Highly likely this is the next in line to sell a product. Nothing more.
    maelcolium
    25th Sep 2018
    11:43am
    The drug to remove plaque is working but the issue is to prevent the plaque build up in the first place. For too long the medical profession has assumed that low hormone levels in older folk is "normal" and the diseases that followed were fobbed off as normal ageing. We now know better and that older people need to utilise supplements to ensure hormone levels, which are attenuated by correct protein, vitamin and amino acid balance.

    The younger people with plaque are most likely also suffering low hormone levels which is possible how some thinking person connected the dots.
    Andy Leucite
    25th Sep 2018
    12:13pm
    I am one of the lucky people who PET scans show has not developed amyloid plaque, and nor at 76 shows any cognitive signs of dementia. However, because of my good fortune, I decided to become a volunteer for my second research study into Alzheimer's. The first was a drug trial, but once my very low likelihood of developing Alzheimer's any time soon was revealed, I was excused. However, such people are still very useful in some trials, to provide baseline information. My role is just that, and my blood, urine (and later perhaps spinal fluid - if I want to) are provided periodically, and my cognitive functions tested (stressful but fun!), and more scans performed on my brain, just for comparisons between lucky people like me, and those who have developed or might develop Alzheimers. The study (Google: AIBL study) is searching for biomarkers (say in blood) or lifestyle habits as possible harbingers of a tendency to develop plaque or whatever it is that is a primary cause of Alzheimer's. Volunteers are always wanted and one meets interesting people - other volunteers and the amazing bands of researchers. One is treated with great respect and friendliness as a volunteer, but the real rewards are the mental stimulation one gets from meeting new people and learning new things. Thoroughly recommended as a retirement project!! Give something back.

    25th Sep 2018
    12:26pm
    Any research that can develop a product to assist people with Alzheimer's is very welcome. There are many, many dedicated scientists who are working very hard to find cures for a number of diseases but, as with all things, money to enable a continuity is essential. It must be soul destroying for some of these scientists who are on the edge of a breakthrough but have to stop because of funding.
    musicveg
    25th Sep 2018
    8:00pm
    Prevention is the cure, stop drinking alcohol and stop eating a diet that is full of fat, especially rancid oils. More plants will help to reverse any disease. They are only looking for a drug they can market to make more money and it will not stop the disease and will most likely cause other side effects especially to your liver.
    michellemartin
    11th Oct 2018
    2:22am
    I was diagnosed 2 years ago at age 63. Symptoms were tremor in right leg, loss of handwriting ability, and soft voice. I also have difficulty rising from a seated position and have balance issues. I started out taking only Azilect, then Mirapex, and 6 months ago Sinemet. Several months ago I started falling frequently, hence the reason for Sinemet. I tried every shots available but nothing worked. In June 2018, my neurologist and I decided to go with natural treatment and was introduced to Natural Herbal Gardens natural organic Parkinson’s Herbal formula, i had a total decline of symptoms with this treatment, the Tremor, falling frequently, stiffness, body weakness, balance issues, depression and others has subsided. Visit Natural Herbal Gardens official website ww w. naturalherbalgardens. com. This treatment is a breakthrough for all suffering from Parkinson’s, don’t give up Hope. Keep Sharing the Awareness, herbs are truly gift from God.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles