Scientists from Cambridge University have found two new drug candidates which may block the pathway of neurodegeneration, with one of the candidates already approved from human trials.
It wasn’t a simple process to get down to just two candidates, with more than 1,000 different compounds being tested before they got there.
Published in the journal Brain, the process was a fascinating one, initially testing all compounds in worms, which are great models due to their functioning nervous system and mammalian type cells.
Based on the ‘worm tests’ a number of drug candidates then made it to stage two, which meant they were tested in mice, which were genetically modified to develop symptoms of dementia and neurodegeneration.
Based on the results of the mouse trials, the group was narrowed to just two candidates which were found to prevent the emergence of cellular brain damage, and even restored memories in mice which were bred to develop frontotemporal dementia. The drugs were also found to reduce brain shrinkage.
This positive news was made even better when the researchers noted that one of the drugs, known as trazadone, was already approved for use in humans.
“We know that trazodone is safe to use in humans, so a clinical trial is now possible to test whether the protective effects of the drug we see on brain cells in mice with neurodegeneration also applies to people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. We could know in 2-3 years whether this approach can slow down disease progression, which would be a very exciting first step in treating these disorders,” said Professor Giovanna Mallucci from the University’s toxicology unit.
This is exciting news and Dementia Daily will keep you updated on the results of any future trials.
Read the original study here – https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awx074
I would like to participate in the drug trial