An experimental drug that bolsters ailing brain cells has raised hopes of a treatment for memory loss, poor decision making and other mental impairments that often strike in old age.
The drug could be taken as a daily pill by over-55s if clinical trials, which are expected to start within two years, show that the medicine is safe and effective at preventing memory lapses.
Tests in the lab showed that old animals had far better memory skills half an hour after receiving the drug. After two months on the treatment, brain cells which had shrunk in the animals had grown back, scientists found.
Etienne Sibille, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, said the treatment was aimed not only at the “normal” cognitive decline that leads to senior moments, but at memory loss and mental impairments that commonly afflict people with depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
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