The BBC reports today (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7525115.stm) that new studies of the drug methylthioninium chloride–marketed as Rember–may halt, or nearly halt the progression of Alzheimer’s, by targeting the tau protein that accumulates in the brain during the illness.
While larger trials are still needed, (and trials not funded by the manufacturer would be nice), this may signal the arrival of a significant advance beyond currently available medications.
As we move forward with what one hopes will be the first of a series of true disease-modifying drugs, we still need to challenge the way we care for people who live with any degree of dementia. No pill short of an out-and-out cure will replace the need to radically re-frame the way we view and care for such people. Otherwise, we will continue to throw pills at people, but do little else to provide true engagement and well-being throughout their lives.
That’s what my book is about.