A new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease may be four times more effective than the current medication in improving the brain power of patients, Australian researchers say.
Trial leader associate professor Steve Macfarlane, Caulfield Hospital director of Aged Psychiatry, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the drug trial of Anavex 2-73 in patients with the early stage of the disease.
As part of the trial the researchers analysed the electrical activity in patient's brains, which is a measure of cognition, Herald Sun reported.
“This drug seems to improve electrical markers by four times more than the current standard of care drug, which is a medication called donepezil (Aricept),” Macfarlane said.
The result, which came after 36 days of therapy, is already higher than what donepezil reaches after six months of taking it continuously, researchers said.
"We've also had patients and their carers reporting improvements in their thinking, increased alertness and improvement in their organisation and independence," Macfarlane said.
"It seems to be hitting the receptors that it is meant to and be having the desired result in improving brain activity," Macfarlane said.
The final results of the study, which will involve 32 people in total, should be known by the end of the year, researchers said.
However, Macfarlane said while it was important to recognise the positive results of the trial, they were only preliminary.
The preliminary results of the study were presented at the 2015 Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) in the US.