New Medications In The Fight Against Alzheimer’s Dementia
A recent study has shown that there may be an addition to the five available medications used in the management of Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs have all been approved by the US FDA, which oversees the testing and approval of drugs by prescription. One of these drugs is in the pipeline for approval; it is called IRL-1620 and it has been found to repair the damaged caused by Alzheimer’s disease and to delay its onset.
Of the five available drugs on the market, none of them have demonstrated a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and instead just block the symptoms on a temporary basis. A chemical known as IRL-1620 has recently been tested in laboratory rats and has demonstrated the ability to actually treat the basic underlying causes of the disease.
IRL-1620 was found in research to improve the memory of the rats as well as to prevent oxidative stress, believed to be a trigger for Alzheimer’s dementia. The drug was also found to improve neurovascular modelling in the rats that suffered from increased oxidative stress and diminished learning ability seen in the disease.
The researchers used the drug to stimulate endothelin B receptors in the brain by injecting the substance by IV administration in laboratory rats. It was discovered that IRL-1620 was successful in repairing neuronal cell damage and prevent the onset of the disease in rats who were prone to dementia. Whether this is also the case in humans has yet to be studied in research trials.
The endothelin B receptor has already been shown in research studies to play a vital role in the development of the brain. Chemicals that stimulate these ETB receptors are believed to be protective of the nerves in the nervous system.
Alzheimer’s dementia is considered the most prevalent type of progressive dementia in the world. About five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s dementia, many of which are so debilitated by the disease that they cannot take care of themselves independently. Alzheimer’s disease is considered a leading cause of death—so much so that 70,000 people die from this type of dementia every year.
Researchers who designed this study made use of rats who were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers injected the impaired rats with IRL-1620. This is a chemical that binds to and activates ETB receptors. Rats were then observed with regard to their special memory and were studied as to the amount of oxidative stress and the level expression of specific brain proteins. The rats were able to reverse the dementia after receiving the drug.
Dementia in humans has a typical set of symptoms including disorientation, loss of memory and a lack of judgment. Just having memory loss is not indicative of Alzheimer’s dementia because memory loss to a mild degree can be found in most elderly people. The statistics tell us that there are more females with dementia than men with two-thirds of sufferers being women. It is not yet known whether IRL-1620 has a positive effect on the symptoms of human dementia.
According to the study, memory improved by 50-60 percent and oxidative stress was reduce by almost half. The injections of IRL-1620 also appeared to enhance various recovery processes with the brain of Alzheimer’s disease rats, causing an increase in neuronal cells and new, nourishing blood vessels. This is what leads to reparation of the abnormalities occurring in the injured brain.
The researchers stated that this research study was the first study that demonstrated an actual reversal of the neurological deficits by a drug in an animal model. Clearly, more studies are necessary to see if IRL-1620 could be effective in reversing the symptoms and signs seen in humans with Alzheimer’s dementia.