Depression and cancer drugs offer hope for dementia sufferers - study
Drugs designed to treat depression and cancer could be "repurposed" to help reduce the impact of Alzheimer's and other degenerative brain diseases.
Researchers found the drugs, an antidepressant and an anti-cancer compound, restored protein production in the brains of laboratory mice.
They were found to prevent brain damage caused by prion disorders such as Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, and dementia.
Project leader Professor
The antidepressant in the study is called trazodone hydrochloride and the anti-cancer compound is dibenzoylmethane.
"We could know in two to three years whether this approach can slow down disease progression, which would be a very exciting first step in treating these disorders," he said.
"Interestingly, trazodone has been used to treat the symptoms of patients in later stages of dementia, so we know it is safe for this group.
"We now need to find out whether giving the drug to patients at an early stage could help arrest or slow down the disease through its effects on this pathway," he added.
"They show that a treatment approach originally discovered in mice with prion disease might also work to prevent the death of brain cells in some forms of dementia."
But neuropathologist Dr
The results appear in the journal Brain.
Earlier this year, former prime minister