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New drug offers hope for patients with dementia
Scientists in San Francisco have shown how the epilepsy drug levetiracetam may have the potential to reverse memory loss and other cognitive impairments in simulated models with Alzheimer’s disease.
A study at the Gladstone Institutes showed how the anti-epileptic drug (AED) can suppress abnormal brain activity and restore memory function.
The work is underscored by an earlier study by scientists at John Hopkins University. This showed the beneficial effects of levetiracetam in a small group of patients with mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often precedes Alzheimer’s disease. Further research is needed before the drug is prescribed for the condition.
Ley Sander stresses need for more research
Professor Ley Sander, medical director of Epilepsy Society, commented: ‘These are fascinating findings of a potential action of this AED. However there is a long way to go before we see if there is any practical implication for the treatment of dementia.
‘The research drives home the message that we still know very little about the brain and how much research is still needed.’