“I wish it could have helped my Dad.” Potential cure for Alzheimer’s brings hope to sufferers

A new Alzheimer’s drug has recently undergone clinical trials and has successfully reduced a plaque-like substance known to be present in the brains of patients who suffer from the disease.

A pharmaceutical research company, known as Merck, has produced and tested a new drug called Verubecestat.

A trial designed to test the safety of this new drug found that the production of toxic amyloid proteins, usually associated with the deterioration of healthy neurons, had slowed down significantly.

The trial was further described in a journal known as Science Translational Medicine showing success with no serious side effects.

Full-time Care worker Carol Wilkinson, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, has been working with sufferers of the disease for 9 years.

She became interested in working with patients after her own father was diagnosed with Dementia.

“My Dad was a lovely guy, very mild mannered. It was awful to see him change to an aggressive and confused man because of his struggle with short term memory loss,” Ms. Wilkinson said.

She then continued to say: “Working in care, I’ve been kicked, I’ve been spat at and I’ve been bitten.” showing the serious effect of the disease on the behavior of patients.

“All of this happens because the person that is ill with Alzheimer’s gets confused and frustrated and ends up taking it out on you.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 1.14 per cent of Sunderland’s population suffers from Dementia, with it’s highest impact on men aged 75 years and higher and more than 1800 sufferers in the area alone.

The disease is also shown to impact younger ages with 71 people currently suffering from it aged 30 to 64.

Wilkinson warmly welcomed the potential cure: “The families are the ones that suffer in the long run. This possible cure is wonderful news, I wish it could have helped my Dad.”

The Alzheimer’s Society predicts that by 2021 the number of Alzheimer’s patients will rise to 1.54 per cent of Sunderland’s population.

Currently, there is only medicine available that alleviates symptoms but nothing has successfully stopped or slowed down the disease.

Ian McKeith, the Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Newcastle University, stated: “The new research looks promising but we have learned to reserve our judgement about anti-Alzheimer’s treatments until sufficiently large clinical trials have been completed.”

Newcastle University are known as leading researchers into Alzheimer’s disease, gathering exclusive information on the causes of Dementia during the 1960s and 1970s.

“At present, the best advice is to try and reduce your risk of dementia by keeping physically and mentally active, controlling your blood pressure and eating and drinking sensibly.” McKeith advised.

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