(SF) – Although there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease yet, a new drug that could come in pill form is giving hope to millions of dementia patients around the world. Researchers say the potential Alzheimer’s drug prevents the disease in mice, rats, and monkeys during lab experiments.


The results are so “promising,” researchers expect clinical trials to begin in the next few months. Such a drug may also ward off the cognitive breakdown in genetically prone people who don’t have the condition yet. Study authors say vulnerable individuals would be able to get the medication after a simple blood test.


A team from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital say the treatment belongs to a family of drugs called GSMs (gamma-secretase modulators). It works by destroying rogue proteins, beta-amyloid (Aβ), that form sticky clumps in the brain and destroy neurons.

“In this study, we have pharmacologically characterized a potent GSM that, based on its preclinical attributes, appears to equal or exceed the potency of any previously tested GSMs,” says lead co-author Dr. Rudolph Tanzi in a media release. “Future clinical trials will determine whether this promising GSM is safe in humans and could be used to effectively treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.” READ MORE

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