Drugs and medications that could well be found in your bathroom cabinet could also be used to treat dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society have reported that the process of developing and testing new drugs is both costly and protracted, due to the nature of dementia as a degenerative disease that can worsen incredibly quickly, time is of the essence.
Experts have today announced that they will re-examine the potential use of existing approved medications and antibiotics that are currently in circulation in order that dementia patients begin a pharmaceutical therapy as soon as they are diagnosed.
There are 800,000 people in Britain diagnosed with dementia; this number is set to rise significantly in the next decade. Currently there are only four specific medications being prescribed to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. These are not treatments, they do not reverse the damage to the brain nor do they inhibit further degeneration, rather they treat some of the symptoms of the disease.
This latest report has found that, discovering potential dementia preventing or treating side effects of medication that has already gone through rigorous testing procedures could mean that dementia patients could be given new medication within the next five years. On the contrary, for new medications to be developed it could take up to 20 years and hundreds of millions of pounds worth of research and clinical trials.
Researchers at the age-related diseases department at King’s College London have put together a list of drugs that could instigate changes in the brain, on the list is liraglutide, a diabetes treatment, minocycline, an antibiotic for acne and acitretin, currently offered as a treatment for psoriasis. Some of the medications in the list cost less than 50 pence a tablet which could significantly reduce the cost of Alzheimer’s treatment.