Preventive Treatment with Memantine May Halt Alzheimer’s Progression, Mouse Study Suggests

Preventive Treatment with Memantine May Halt Alzheimer’s Progression, Mouse Study Suggests
Approved medication memantine could be used as a preventive treatment to help stop or delay Alzheimer's disease progression in people at risk, a University of Virginia study suggests. Memantine, which is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and marketed as Namenda by Allergan, is currently used to alleviate Alzheimer's symptoms. However, researchers now suggest its potential as a preventive treatment for the disease. "Based on what we've learned so far, it is my opinion that we will never be able to cure Alzheimer's disease by treating patients once they become symptomatic," George Bloom, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia and the study's lead author, said in a press release. "The best hope for conquering this disease is to first recognize patients who are at risk, and begin treating them prophylactically with new drugs and perhaps lifestyle adjustments that would reduce the rate at which the silent phase of the disease progresses,” he said. "Ideally, we would prevent it from starting in the first place." The study, “N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor–mediated calcium influx connects amyloid-b oligomers to ectopic neuronal cell cycle reentry in Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Alzheimer's disease is linked to old age — those ages 85 or older have a 50 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's — resulting in severe memory loss and progressive cognitive decline due to significant brain nerve cell death. However, the molecular mechanisms behind the disease are likely triggered years before the first symptoms appear. Being able to identify these mechanisms would allow researchers to begin potential preventive therapies to stop t
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