Cancer drug shown to prevent dementia 92



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Scientists have this week announced an enormous win in the growing battle against dementia and an ageing population that will face it.  A drug being used for Cancer has been shown to prevent the disease.

The researchers at the University of Cambridge say their research could see people at risk given “neurostatins” to reduce their chances of developing the degenerative disease.

This research points to GPs being able to prescribe preventative medicines in the same way statins are used to prevent heart problems by doctors today, with over a third of all adults able to claim statins under the healthcare systems in the western world.

The Cancer treatment that is being said to halt the development of the disease is called bexarotene and is a drug that is used to treat lymphoma.  It is referred to as a neurostatin and there is some discussion that it could become a widely used medication.

“It is a powerful first step. The study shows it possible to have a statin-type approach to neurodegenerative diseases,” said the Lead researcher Prof Michele Vendruscolo, of the University of Cambridge.

“The hope is to have for Alzheimer’s the same type of drugs that statins are for heart disease. That is the ambition.”

“This in terms of an approach for Alzheimer’s disease would be the equivalent of what statins do for heart conditions. So you would take them well in advance of developing the condition to reduce your risk.

“The dream would be to find a compound which is cheap and safe and therefore can be given early to everybody.”

According to researchers, treatment for the degenerative disease could start well before symptoms would be likely, at as young an age as 30.

Have you known someone affected by dementia? 


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Mum has it and my paternal grandmother died of it at aged 62 so I guess I may get it too. I just wonder if the drug they are talking about would be worse than dementia. Mum is quite happy and still knows us but has days where she’s confused as to where she is, but is easily side-tracked if you can get her laughing. I think it is worse for us than her. Aren’t statins the drugs for cholesterol because a lot of people can’t take them.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes statins are for the treatment of high cholesterol. I think some people are getting a bit confused here. It was reported earlier that a drug used for cancer treatment is showing signs of being useful for treating Dementia, and that certainly is not statins.

  2. Mum has it I care for her at my home and she keeps asking who am I and what am doing here very very sad when will this drug be released will it take 10or more years???????????????????????

  3. My mum had dementia plus she was blind and deaf. Poor darling was 93 when she died in 2013. Miss you mum.

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