Old drugs, new use may help Alzheimer's


Common drugs used to treat diabetes, hypertension, and skin conditions could also be used for Alzheimer’s within the next 10 years. A new study recognized four existing drugs and one entire group of drugs that could potentially be beneficial to people with the disease.

One method of attacking Alzheimer’s is by looking at existing drugs and finding out if they can help stop the course of the disease or even repair damage done by the disease. This ongoing drug discovery work speeds up the process of searching for a cure by specifically looking at existing treatments.

Drugs meant for other conditions may combat dementia

The most hopeful prospects now include high blood pressure medications from the calcium channel inhibitors family, which may decrease the risk of dementia. Diabetes medication may arouse the brain and decrease the formation of plaques on the brain. An antibiotic used to treat acne is showing signs of improving symptoms of dementia. Finally, a psoriasis drug may alter the way proteins connect to dementia structure.

"Defeating dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing both medicine and society as a whole," said lead author Professor Clive Ballard, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society.

"Developing new drugs to treat the condition is incredibly important, but comes with a huge price tag and, for those affected by dementia, an unimaginable wait. This study identifies existing treatments and shows the potential to identify other similar drugs which are safe and if effective in clinical trails could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease in 10 years or less."

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

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