Existing drug may prevent Alzheimer's
Emerging evidence suggests that a "potent" drug could prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease — but only if a person takes the medication long before symptoms of this condition make an appearance.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 5.7 million adults in the United States live with this condition.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer's, and following disease onset, symptoms tend to worsen progressively.
Then, the question, "Can specialists prevent the disease in people deemed at increased risk?" arises.
The authors of a new study, from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, suggest that one drug called memantine — which is currently used to manage Alzheimer's symptoms — may actually help prevent the disease. This, however, might only happen if a person takes the drug before symptoms set in.
"Based on what we've learned so far, it is my opinion that we will never be able to cure Alzheimer's disease by treating patients once they become symptomatic," says Prof. George Bloom, of the University of Virginia, who oversaw the study.