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Alzheimer’s Treatment with Dimebon

Alzheimer’s researchers have many theories, diverse treatment directions and high hopes for slowing the decline before baby boomers flood the health care system with the disease. Currently, common sense advice from the medical community consists of keeping metabolic syndrome at bay through a healthy diet and exercise. Metabolic syndrome has been implicated in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In a recent study getting type 2 diabetes in midlife greatly increases a person’s risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. Also, psychological studies on loneliness claim that loneliness, social isolation, is a potential precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease. So get out there and mingle! A short while ago, statin drugs to lower cholesterol were all the rage in fending off Alzheimer’s, but they have proven to be a false lead. Some surprising news is on the horizon, from an antihistamine which originated in Russia in the 1980’s, Dimebon.

However, don’t get overly optimistic. Dimebon is not a cure, as it targets symptoms of the disease. So far in clinical trials Dimebon is doing much better than a placebo with positive effects being better at the twelve month period than at six months. This means that the cognitive benefits and functionality last longer and are larger than any of the drugs available today. In a study of the antihistamine Dimebon, Alzheimer's patients with mild to moderate disease continued to show improvements in memory, thinking, and daily and overall functioning. According to Dr. David Hung, CEO of Medivation, the drug company hoping to market Dimebon in 2010, claims, “Early findings suggest that Dimebon may keep the neurons alive and even make sick neurons healthy again.”

Steven DeKosky, MD, who directs the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh and is not involved with the Dimebon research, told WebMD (April 17 2008): "If the Russian findings hold up, that would be a big deal." "There isn't anything out there that works as well as this drug appeared to in that study. But there are still a lot of unanswered questions. We will know more when the phase III international trial is completed."

While Dimebon research is optimistic, I feel like we have been this way before with Aricept, Exelon and Razadyne. Maybe these three drugs slowed the progression of the disease a bit and that’s a big maybe, but essentially they failed to keep the neurons from dying. Meanwhile your best option is aerobic exercise. So get out there and run for your life!
For more information on taking care of yourself (mind and body), read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show







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