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Alzheimer’s Treatment: Repurposing Cancer Drugs

Seniors and dementia caregivers in The Grand Strand hope to one day see an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. As researchers learn about the biological processes that cause Alzheimer’s, scientists are better equipped to create more effective treatment methods to interfere with the progression of the disease and perhaps reverse existing symptoms. In recent years, a group of researchers from Yale University learned that medications traditionally used to eradicate certain cancers also prove helpful in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

About Alzheimer’s

More than five million adults in the United States live with varying stages of Alzheimer’s, a disease that eventually causes a dramatic loss of cognitive function. Scientists now believe that tau proteins in the brain are responsible for regulating the abnormal accumulation of amyloid-beta proteins. The sticky nature of the substance causes the proteins to clump together, which damages neurons and interferes with normal cellular communication between the spaces known as synapses. From various studies, Yale University’s Dr. Stephen Strittmatter and his team understand that another protein known as tyrosine-protein kinase plays a major role in the development of the amyloid-beta proteins.

Chemotherapy Connection

The cancer treatment medication known as saracatinib, which is manufactured by AstraZeneca, was created specifically to target tyrosine-protein kinase in malignant cells. The Yale team determined to learn what effect the medication might have on Alzheimer’s disease. After obtaining the drug, researchers administered the medication to laboratory animals that exhibited Alzheimer’s symptoms. The drug successfully restored memory loss and restored brain function in the test subjects after one month’s time. The mice also tolerated the treatment well without adverse effects typically associated with chemotherapy medications.

Human Trials Underway

Dr. Strittmatter’s team completed a successful initial safety trial on human volunteers who were all diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms. The study lasted for four weeks and none of the participants experienced negative side effects after receiving daily doses of the medication. The team is in the process of conducting a second double-blind study at designated locations across the United States. The new trial is scheduled to span an entire year. The researchers hope to have conclusive results within two years and they are hopeful that this study will bring hope to seniors and their Alzheimer’s caregivers in The Grand Strand.

While we wait for researchers to discover an effective cure for Alzheimer’s families can always trust Home Care Assistance in The Grand Strand to care for their senior loved ones. We provide comprehensive dementia and Alzheimer’s home care that staves off memory loss, encourages social and speech skills, stimulates cognitive function and boosts self-esteem. Learn what makes our comprehensive memory care so beneficial when you call (843) 353-3105 today and schedule a free in-home consultation.