The devastating impact of dementia could soon be a thing of the past. A simple pill taken once a day could reverse the disease if clinical research trials for the experimental drug Anavex 2-73 returns a positive result.
Anavex 2-73 is known as a sigma-1 receptor agonist that has been found to reverse neurodegeneration commonly noted in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The previous clinical trial involved 32 people and found the drug both relieved the symptoms and slowed the disease’s progression.
Running the clinical trials in Sydney is the Anglicare affiliated dementia research company KaRa MINDS Institute.
A.Prof. Kathryn Goozee, Director of KaRa MINDS Institute, states there is no treatment on the market that targets the underlying Alzheimer’s disease process currently.
“People with dementia and their family need disease-modifying approaches, and this study offers hope. Australia has been selected as the preferred country to run this study and we expect to attract 450 people,” A.Prof. Goozee explains.
“This is a unique study targeting a process involved in cell recovery. It is using the body’s natural defences to fight the disease.
“If ANAVEX demonstrates an ability to improve cognitive function and regain lost skills this would be a huge step forward. It is devastating to watch long-held skills whittle away during Alzheimer’s Disease. We need to remain cautious in our expectations as the earlier study was quite small, but we are quite excited.”
Jana Fort-Haber is a carer of her 78-year-old husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this year. Married to him for 30 years, she noticed small changes in his behaviour that prompted them to seek help.
“My husband worked as a computer engineer. He is a very clever, intelligent man. However, I noticed his memory getting worse and worse,” says Jana.
“It wasn’t merely forgetting things. He started to get disorientated. He would turn the wrong direction while heading to places we’ve always been. He would get disorientated in the street. That was when I decided we should get help.”
For Jana the trials are a source of hope.
“My family tell me I am a walking optimist. I am a firm believer in doing what we can for a positive outcome and hoping for the best,” says Jana.
As of the 19th October, KaRa MINDS is recruiting potential participants for the study.
They are the first trial site in NSW and are looking for people, aged 60-85yrs, who have early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and have access to someone willing to be their study partner.
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