Latest News on Drug Treatment For Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease, we all know, is progressive, irreversible.

Per the Feinstein Institute’s Focus on Research, Fall 2013 edition (p. 8, not yet on their website:

…experts suggest that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Because the disease is complex, many speculate that it is unlikely that any one intervention will be found to delay, prevent, or cure Alzheimer’s.

So, “researchers and clinicians focus on several different aspects” with goals of maintaining mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing down or delaying the progressive course.

An experimental drug, MK-8931, seems to show promise in mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease:

The data was early stage – coming from a phase Ib study – but confirmed that MK-8931 reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of beta amyloid in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

BACE or beta-secretase is an enzyme involved in the conversion of amyloid precursor protein (APP) into amyloid beta, which is deposited as plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Inhibitors of BACE are designed to interrupt this process, prevent the formation of plaques and – if the amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s is correct – block degeneration of neurons in the disease.
An August 1, 2013 presentation:


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