Alzheimer’s research has had a breakthrough in possible treatment after new drug trials show positive results in slowing the disease.
The clinical trials, conducted on 82 people by the TauRX pharmaceutical company, showed that brain shrinkage could be reduced by up to 38% on the LMTX medication.
Not only was there a halt to brain deterioration, but test scores in memory and attention exams were “significantly” improved.
Despite this positive step in the phase III trial, the team said at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, that they had not quite been able to reach their primary goal of helping 891 people with attention, memory and language.
There was a particular segment of the participants who benefited disproportionately from the treatment.
Within the sample group, 85% of the 891 participants were already taking other drugs and these people did not see the same levels of improvement as the remaining 15% who only took LMTX.
They believe that this shortcoming was due to the influence of other medication being taken simultaneously alongside LMTX.
Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There are still lots of questions to answer before we know how promising this new treatment could be – why it doesn’t appear to work in those who are already taking other medications for Alzheimer’s disease?”
LMTX works by blocking tau protein from forming “tangles” in the brain, which causes damage to cells, whereas most other treatments target amyloid plague.
The NHS currently advises that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, although some medication is available to temporarily slow the progression of symptoms.