Neuroscientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have made a dramatic breakthrough in their efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers’ findings, published in the journal Science, show that use of a drug in mice appears to quickly reverse the pathological, cognitive and memory deficits caused by the onset of Alzheimer’s. The results point to the significant potential that the medication, bexarotene, has to help the roughly 5.4 million Americans suffering from the progressive brain disease.
Bexarotene has been approved for the treatment of cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more than a decade. These experiments explored whether the medication might also be used to help patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and the results were more than promising.
It’s important to emphasise that this has cured symptoms in mice, and not humans; many drugs have been developed in the past that countered the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in mice only to be ineffective in humans. So, whilst being optimistic about future results with bexarotene, people also need to maintain a realistic approach that this may not become a viable treatment for humans.