This is a big deal. After so many years of failures in finding a drug to stop or even slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) most researchers have moved their focus to prevention of the disease before any signs or symptoms of dementia show up. This leaves those who have already been diagnosed feeling like they have been forgotten.
This study involves a precursor of the drug riluzole, a drug that has already been approved for ALS (amylotrophic lateral sclerosis, 1995). This precursor or “prodrug” as they call it is a related compound with lesser side effects that when taken is converted by the body into riluzole. It’s name is Troriluzole. The fact that it is converted by the body makes it a safer compound as well as more easily tolerated. For ALS, riluzole is an important find. Although it doesn’t cure the disease or quell the symptoms, it has been shown to increase survival time by at least a year and a half.
Why does the sponsoring company Biohaven Pharmaceuticals want to test this drug on already diagnosed mild to moderate Alzheimer’s patients? Trorilyzole modulates glutamate and glutamate is the largest excititory neurotransmitter in all vertebrate animals. In other words, glutamate aids communication between neurons by participating in sending the signals between them. The researchers feel that there is great potential for this “T” drug to improve memory, learning, and synaptic function by protecting the neurons from too much glutamate.
By mid-March there should be 40 sites offering this T2 Protect AD Study through the management by University of California Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS).
To learn more about where this study is being offered and the requirements for entrance, see www.T2Protect.org.
This information was obtained from www.forbes.com with Robin Seaton Jefferson as contributor.