The drug Dimebon shows promise for Alzheimer’s Disease

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

A piece of rare, good news for Alzheimer patients. A recent study showed that the drug, Dimebon, significantly stabilized the decline of the major debilitation problems of Alzheimer’s, including memory, cognition (awareness, processing information), activities of daily living (grooming, hygiene, dressing and feeding oneself) and behavior. In fact, some patients actually improved. Published in the July 19, Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, the patients were studied for 1 year, with half taking placebo (no active ingredients) and the others taking the active drug.

Then, last month at an Alzheimer’s conference, the investigators reported that they had extended the study for 6 months for those who chose to continue.

Ones that had been on placebo took the active drug. The results, seen on the manufacturer’s website, were continued benefit in that most had no progression of the disease symptoms from when they had started the study. A major problem with other drugs has been the medicine worked short-term only. Dimebor has been shown to work for, at least, 18 months. Who knows after that?

Dimebor is still in investigation, but a Stage III trial is coming soon. If you know someone who would like to participate link to the study website for further information. I can neither recommend or not recommend participation, but your treating physician might. A stage III study is the last stage before going to market if the drug proves to be effective. See our JHMFD website article on volunteering for investigational studies for further info.

Does any have any experience with famiy members with AD? How about participation in drug studies?

The NIH has posted 7 warning signs of Alzheimers:

1. Asking the same question over and over again.

2. Repeating the same story, word for word, again and again.

3. Forgetting how to cook, or how to make repairs, or how to play cards — activities that were previously done with ease and regularity.

4. Losing one’s ability to pay bills or balance one’s checkbook.

5. Getting lost in familiar surroundings, or misplacing household objects.

6. Neglecting to bathe, or wearing the same clothes over and over again, while insisting that they have taken a bath or that their clothes are still clean.

7. Relying on someone else, such as a spouse, to make decisions or answer questions they previously would have handled themselves

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