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Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise in Early Trial
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:19 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: HealthDay News) - Researchers say an investigational drug helped improve memory, language, attention and other mental skills in people with early Alzheimer's disease.

During the six-month, phase 2 trial, patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease took either a placebo or one of three different doses of the drug EVP-6124.


After 23 weeks the patients in the high-dose group showed statistically significant benefits on tests of mental function.


EVP-6124 is an alpha-7 nicotinic agonist, which amplifies the effects of acetylcholine, a brain chemical essential for normal brain and memory function. People with Alzheimer's disease have reduced levels of acetylcholine.

Peter Davies of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research pointed out that the mechanism behind the new drug is not novel. "Treating the deficiency of acetylcholine is the basis for the already approved drugs Aricept, Exelon and Razodyne," he said. "This drug does the same thing, but in a different way. The other drugs act to reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine: this drug mimics the effect of acetylcholine at one of the receptors for this compound."


Davies said that there are hints that this approach might do more than just ease symptoms, and might attack the underlying illness. But that remains speculative and "further studies do seem to be warranted."


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