A new drug called LM11A-31 or C31 as it’s known to its researcher Dr. Frank Longo from Stanford University School of Medicine is being tested right now in clinical trials. This drug is attacking the Alzheimer’s dilemma from a new angle. Instead of trying to dissolve the harmful proteins, amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles, he is using this nerve growth factor to bolster the brain neurons in order to help protect them from the damaging protein onslaught. If the brain can maintain its cognitive function longer despite the protein build-up, perhaps that is the key. The drug in mice actually showed progression from a plaques and tangled brain to a healthy one. Although we know that many different scenarios that were successful in the testing of mice did not prove helpful in the human, they are hopeful that this will work. People with higher levels of brain nerve growth factor (BDNF) do fare better in keeping more cognitive function and this gives them a cushion of reserve against harmful proteins.
The drug has survived the Phase I Trials that showed that it is safe with minimal side-effects in humans. Now in Phase II Trials it has to be shown to actually improve patients’ cognition. Dr. Longo of PharmatrophiX hopes that in the future this compound will be one of a few drugs that will be taken as a “cocktail” for those with dementia….this drug to bolster the neurons and other drugs to break up the harmful proteins.
Let’s hope this shows some promise. It’s about time researchers found something to give us some hope!