Scientists have discovered a promising way to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia

A new study has found a very promising therapy for patients with cognitive and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, the second most common type of dementia in people under 60, leading to stabilization of what would otherwise be escalating problems behavior and the slowing of disease-related brain shrinkage.

This is the second clinical trial to show that the drug, sodium selenate, can reduce cognitive loss and neuronal damage, hallmarks of several dementias, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

Behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia

(Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is a devastating disease that can strike people as young as 35, according to ScienceDaily.

It is characterized by behavioral and personality abnormalities, and it can be extremely disruptive and stressful for patients and their families.

There is currently no treatment or cure for bvFTD, and the average survival time is 5-7 years after diagnosis.

The Phase 1 trial, which was conducted in collaboration with the Royal Melbourne Hospital to be the only one in Australia targeting non-genetic bvFTD and one of the few worldwide, demonstrated that the drug, sodium selenate, is safe and well tolerated in patients with bvDFT over a period of 12 months.

Additionally, the proportion of patients who received sodium selenate saw no change in cognitive or behavioral symptoms and experienced lower rates of brain shrinkage over the study period.

The results of the trial, led by Dr. Lucy Vivash of Monash University’s Department of Neuroscience, were recently published in the journal Alzheimer’s and dementia: translational research and clinical interventions.

The destruction of neuronal connections is characterized by the accumulation of a protein called tau in nearly half of bvFTD cases.

As a mechanism to thwart neurodegeneration caused by tau accumulation, this protein is a major focus of study in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Read more: A new scientific breakthrough shows a considerable decrease in the risk of stroke and dementia with the consumption of coffee and tea

What is dementia?

Dementia is defined as the loss of intellectual performance, including thinking, memory and reasoning, to the point where it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.

Some dementia patients are unable to manage their emotions and their personality may change, according to National Institute of Aging.

Dementia progresses in intensity from moderate to severe, with the mildest stage affecting a person’s functioning the least and the most severe requiring the person to rely entirely on others for basic daily functions.

Dementia becomes more common as individuals age (about a third of people aged 85 and over may have some form of dementia), but it is not a natural part of the aging process.

Many people live to be over 90 and beyond without showing any signs of dementia.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can get dementia as they age, and detecting their symptoms can be very difficult.

It is essential to examine a person’s existing abilities and keep an eye out for changes over time that could indicate dementia.

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias differ depending on the type of brain abnormalities that occur.

Although research has found that specific brain abnormalities are associated with particular types of dementia, the underlying reasons are unclear in the majority of cases.

Rare genetic mutations can cause dementia in a limited proportion of people.

Related article: Scientists Engineered Baker’s Yeast to Produce Dementia Drugs

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