(SNN) – A recent clinical trial is showing promise for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients.
Years ago Roskamp Institute Executive Director Dr. Michael Mullan and other researchers were interested in how a drug called Nilvadipine could affect Alzheimer’s.
“We first started looking at this drug because it’s anti-hypertensive, and it has the ability to open up blood vessels in the brain,” Dr. Mullan says.
They first looked to see if it would have that affect on mice with Alzheimer’s.
“It did do that; it increased blood flow to the brain, but what was really surprising was it got rid of the amyloid that was accumulating in the brain,” Dr. Mullan explains.
Amyloid is a toxic protein.
“It seems to be at the center of the storm as far as Alzheimer’s is concerned,” Dr. Mullan says.
So they didn’t stop at mice. A human trial with 500 patients was set up in Europe.
Half got a placebo and the other 250 got Nilvadipine, which isn’t FDA approved in the United States. Patients were divided up by their stage of the disease.
Early-stage patients who took Nilvadipine had a much slower cognitive decline over time.
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