Yesterday the Daily Mail published an article that stated LMTX, produced by TauRx Pharmaceuticals, could be the key to the much-needed cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. New scientific research has shown the pill, taken twice a day, had repaired some of the protein ‘tangles’ that form in the brain which causes dementia.
The newspaper reported that MRI scans from dementia patients taking LMTX were, incredibly, very similar to a healthy person’s brain scan after only nine months. According to studies, the pill contains a chemical protein ‘de-tangler,’ meaning plaques affecting memory function don’t have the chance to form. LMTX is also supposed to improve cognitive abilities, increase motor function and boost someone’s ability to feed, dress and wash themselves without assistance.
While the drug is still very much in its trial stage this news is hopeful to those who struggle with the disease, as well as a little ray of light to people caring for their loved ones. However, the trial itself included only 800 patients, although the participants were from various different countries. Participants took either 100 mg of LMTX or 4 mg and continued to do so, twice a day, for eighteen months. During this period they were tested on a number of things, including memory tests, physical tests and tasks involving talking on the phone.
According to Oxford University’s Professor Gordon Willcock and author of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease paper, side effects were minimal and both doses of LMTX were effective. However he, and the TauRx team are moving forward with ‘the lower dosage’ as it is tolerated better by the human body.
Professor Willcock said:
‘We are taking the 4mg dose forward because it’s better tolerated and has no difference in effect.
[The drug] will only be approved and available for patients if future trials are positive. It will probably be another five years.’
Essentially, this means it will be a significant amount of time, if at all, before LMTX is given the green light and put into production for mass usage. Yet, like with any new medical discovery it’s important not to get carried away. Indeed, LMTX is still in testing and Dr James Pickett, Alzheimer’s Society Head Researcher, is advising caution due to how the test data was initially interpreted.
Dr James Pickett said:
‘These issues include the lack of a strong control group and that the numbers of people who were taking LMTX alone are quite small.
We have been waiting more than 15 years for a new drug for dementia. This was the first large-scale trial to target another potential culprit, the tau protein. From the results that we have seen, we cannot say that LMTX is an effective drug for Alzheimer’s.
‘However we look forward to seeing other innovative approaches to drug development in dementia – including targeting treatments at more than just the amyloid protein.’
So while you may be tempted to rush off and speak to your GP about obtaining LMTX it’s probably best to await the results of further tests. We all know how seductive the idea of a ‘quick fix’ is. Especially when it involves the chance of getting your mother, father, husband, wife, friend or neighbour ‘back’. Many ‘miracle cures’ have been written about over the years and have either not lived up to the hype or, worse, ended up doing more harm than good. Still, it’s definitely a step in the right direction and the Dementia Cafe will be keeping a very close eye on LMTX’s journey from now on.