Health Team

Drug designed for nasal congestion seems to slow Alzheimer's

Researchers say that Dimebon, invented in Russia two decades ago to treat stuffy noses, is looking good as a medicine to slow the memory-destroying disease.
Posted 2008-10-31T17:41:16+00:00 - Updated 2008-11-01T00:55:13+00:00
Drug aims to slow Alzheimer's

Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and that number is expected to grow.

Researchers in Boston said they believe they’ve found a drug to help slow the disease – Dimebon.

Dimebon was developed in Russia in the 1980s to treat stuffy noses. Doctors there soon discovered it had an effect on memory, which led to more testing.

The initial studies were so promising that the drug is now in the last round of trials in Boston. Dimebon is easier for patients to take than other drugs being tested, most of which involve injections, according to doctors.

The company researching the drug is Medivation, which says it also is testing the drug to fight Huntiongton's disease.

“It's a pill that people take, and that's very unique amongst the drugs that are now the leading contenders for treatment for Alzheimer's disease,” said Dr. Michael Biber, with the Neurocare Center for Research.

Dimebon still faces the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when testing is finished. With positive results so far, however, doctors and drug companies said they are confident it will be approved.

The Neurocare Center for Research is still looking for participants for their study on Dimebon. To qualify, people must be between ages 55 and 85 and have mild to moderate Alzheimer's.