Alzheimer’s disease Cure? Methylene Blue Ingredient in Rember MTC May Stop Decline And Help Patients Remember and Function

Alzheimer’s disease Cure?  Methylene Blue Ingredient in Rember MTC May Stop Decline And Help Patients Remember and Function

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(Best Syndication News) There has been some exciting research presented this week at the Alzheimer's Association’s International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2008, but researchers caution against over-exuberance. The most promising drug presented at the conference in Chicago was Rember, which was developed by TauRx Therapeutics, Singapore.

The study involved 321 people with Alzheimer's at 17 centers in the United Kingdom and Singapore. Over a 24 week period patients were given either a placebo or the experimental drug. In phase IIb of research, the objective was to determine the side effects followed by a 60-week (blinded) active treatment extension. Pervious research involving animals showed benefits in cognitive ability and behavior.

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During the 24-week period the scientists conducted a double-blind, randomized, dose-ranging, parallel design trial of MTC (trade name Rember). After this initial trial cognitive function was measured using the ADAS-cog scale. The researchers found that MTC produced a significant improvement relative to the placebo of -5.5 ADAS-cog units in moderate subjects at the 60 mg dose. This dosage seemed to work the best.

Using PET and SPECT scans the scientists wanted to determine the efficacy of the drug over a 19 month period. The researchers used three different dosages (30, 60 and 100 mg) and found that the 60mg dose produced a significantly larger effect size at 50 weeks than at 24 weeks.

"This is the first instance of a disease-modifying Alzheimer's therapy that has attained its primary, pre-specified cognitive efficacy target in a clinical trial," said Claude M. Wischik, Professor in Mental Health, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom and Chairman, TauRx Therapeutics.

"This trial therefore provides the first clinical trial evidence that an Alzheimer's therapy aimed at blocking tau aggregation may be a viable disease-modifying treatment. We now need to confirm this in a larger Phase III trial,” Wischik added.

There was an 81% difference in the rate of “mental decline” compared with those not taking the treatment, according to Wischik.

Since the 1930 the drug’s active chemical (methylene blue) has was used to treat bladder infections and was used later used to treat malaria. It predates FDA approval and was never been fully studied for safety or effectiveness.

Wischik talked about stories of patients being able to do things that they were once able to do before Alzheimer’s. “There was a story of a woman who went back to using the computer.”

"Our results appear to meet the draft EMEA clinical guidelines for disease-modifying therapy, supported by SPECT and PET evidence of efficacy in brain regions heavily affected by tau pathology," Wischik said. They hope to get the drug on the market by 2012.

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By Jeffrey Workman
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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