2 August 2012
Are pine cones the answer?
New studies have shown that with a simple daily tablet we may be able to prevent the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. More than 300,000 people develop this condition and it is hoped that the new pill will significantly decrease the occurrence of new cases.
In animal studies it has been shown that the pill prevents ‘plaques’ from forming which would usually coat the brain cells and cause them to stop functioning normally. The company Humanetics Corporation, which developed the drug alongside researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, have completed tests on healthy volunteers which have proved the drug is safe for human consumption. Volunteers are now being recruited who currently have Alzheimer’s, in a bid to test the correct dosage, while experiencing the least side effects. If these trials prove effective we could be another step closer to developing an effective way to prevent the disease progressing.
Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said, “‘With over half a million people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s, there is a desperate need for effective treatments. Whereas current drugs only act to relieve symptoms, this drug aims to slow or stop the underlying disease. This would be a huge step forward, but we will only know whether the drug has real benefits for Alzheimer’s after it has been rigorously tested in clinical trials.”