Toronto – The 15-month trial drug, leuco-methylthioninium-bis (LMTM) failed to be significant for treating Alzheimer’s disease as it was announced during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference last week. The anticipated results could be a hope for those 40 million people suffering from the brain disorder LMTM. If positive, the results would be the first effective treatment for the painful disease.

The trials could not demonstrate a positive change in most patients which makes experts be fought both with medicine and with a radical shift in the patient’s lifestyle. Doctors think that people with the condition must change their diet, sleep habits, and their physical routine, along with medical treatment, to successfully defeat Alzheimer’s.

For people diagnosed with Alzheimer's, an effective treatment can't get here soon enough given the everyday-struggle it means to live with the disease. Image Credit: Daily Mail
For people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, an effective treatment can’t get here soon enough given the everyday struggle it means to live with the disease. Image Credit: Daily Mail

The results of the 15-month trial were made public on Wednesday and involved 891 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. The study goals were to reduce the accumulation of the protein tau into potentially toxic tangles in the brain, but most participants did not manifest a significant improvement.

Only a small part of the group, around 15 percent, showed improvement. The peculiarity of those patients is that they received LMTM as a monotherapy, meaning that the leuco-methylthioninium-bis was the first Alzheimer’s drug they have tried in their life. But that number of patients was not enough to make the LMTM and positive official result.

Despite the bad news, The Washington Post said that the Alzheimer’s Association’s senior director of medical and scientific operations, Dr. Heather Snyder, stated that the failed study was the first phase 3 trial for tau and added that its results were a large step to understanding the disease further.

Snyder said that the results of this research are going to be interpreted and analyzed by the scientific community and later compare with the results of the second phase of the three trial. This second test for the LMTM is already being carried, and it is expected to announce its performance at the end of the year.

Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging stated that the results of the First Phase 3 trial are full of hope.  Petersen says the recent results knowledge about the brain condition could be tested in future patients with mild cognitive impairment, for those who had not taken Alzheimer’s drugs.

The difficult challenges of understanding Alzheimer’s: the disease is different for every age group, race, and gender

Alzheimer’s has been a difficult condition to understand because it manifests itself differently in young and older people, in people of different ethnics and races, and in men and women. And these varieties will also depend on diets, exercises, the complexity of work, the social interaction level of the individual, and if the person suffers from vascular diseases.

Alzheimer’s afflicts more than 40 million people around the world, and an estimated of 5.2 million Americans over 65 are dealing with the brain-destroying illness. The Washington Post reports that currently 5 FDA approved drugs can reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms, but due to the complexity of the condition, it has been 12 years since a new drug was approved. This fact makes patients search for a cure a much more tense and anxious quest.

Studies have found people living with Alzheimer's disease responds better to treatments if they're in a caring and loving environment. Families and friends of people with Alzheimer can influence a great deal on those people's lives. Image Credit: Flipboard
Studies have found people living with Alzheimer’s disease responds better to treatments if they’re in a caring and loving environment. Families and friends of people with Alzheimer can influence a great deal in those people’s lives. Image Credit: Flipboard

There are two conditions associated with the disease. The first one is the accumulation of a protein that forms adherent plaques in the brain, known as beta-amyloid, and the second one is the buildup of tau, which is key to maintaining the structure of a neuron, which can collapse and destroy the neuron. Recent studies are focusing on study both beta-amyloid and the buildup of tau.

Alzheimer’s researchers are also analyzing the inflammation caused by the beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which happened before the neuron collapses. But some studies said that inflammations might be a factor that works as a protection against Alzheimer’s, says the Washington Post.

It is vital for the brain’s functioning glucose and oxygen. Thus, insulin resistance is also being investigated to understand how it affects the brain cells.

Petersen believes that even though the finding of a new drug to cure the severe brain conditions, this is an exciting time to be in the Alzheimer’s research and said that patients and doctors could be “a little more optimistic” about future drug trials. The next Alzheimer’s Association International Conference will be held in London July, 16-20 and the preconference on July 14 and 15.

Finding a cure needs fundings: Alzheimer’s studies need $2 billion to increase the changes to cure the disease

Despite the 5.2 millions of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s, the government of the United States invests more in studies to treat HIV/AIDS, heart diseases, and cancer, while Alzheimers, if a cure is not found, is expected to affect more than 15 million Americans by 2050.

But recently the brain disease have had a spotlight in funding and a $350 million dollar infusion was invested in studying Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and now the annual amount to use to investigate these diseases have reached $991 million. But the National Institute of Health needs at least 2 billion if something similar to a cure wants to be discovered by 2025.

Alzheimer’s is one of the few conditions that causes death in the U.S. that does not have a cure, therapy, or medication to slow its progress or the heal the brain. And to add more cruelty to the situation, is the most expensive condition in the U.S. at $236 billion a year, according to the Washington Post.

Source: The Washington Post