Novel Drug Against Young-onset Dementia Discovered

Behavioral variant of dementia can now be treated efficiently using a new drug as per a study at the Monash University, published in the journal Alzheimer s & Dementia Translational Research & Clinical Interventions.

The Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is the rapidly progressive, second most common dementia, characterized by behavioral and personality changes due to brain shrinkage, that affects people below 60 years of age. bvFTD is caused by the build-up of a protein called tau.

‘New drug — sodium selenate is found to be a promising treatment against the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), the second most common dementia among people aged below 60 years.

Currently, there are no treatments or cures for bvFTD and typical survival is 5-7 years from diagnosis. The present study reveals a promising drug treatment — sodium selenate, that helps slow down the cognitive decline and neurodegenerative damage in the disease course.

Novel Drug Against Dementia

The study shows that the drug, sodium selenate upregulates an enzyme in the brain that effectively breaks down the tau protein.

It is also found to be safe and well-tolerated in patients with bvFTD over a study period of 12 months. The drug helped reduce the rates of brain atrophy (brain shrinkage) with cognitive and behavioral benefits.

“We have previously shown, in a Phase 2 trial, that sodium selenate given to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease resulted in less neurodegeneration than in those who did not,” says led by Dr. Lucy Vivash, from the Monash University who led the study.

The team further plans to conduct a larger study at many hospitals across Australia and New Zealand to test the drug’s benefits.

Source: Medindia

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