Suzy Cohen, R. Ph., has some exciting news from the world of drug research. A new drug still in development has the potential for providing treatment for people suffering from a dementia-related condition such Parkinson’s and Lewy Body disease.
The drug, which is still in development and not named, is intended for patients who have type-2 diabetes. However, in lab mice, it has shown potential for helping dementia patients. The medication is part of a family of drugs called “Mitochondrial Target of Thiazolidinediones” modulators.
How does this help people with dementia?
The medication can help to improve cells in the brain to create energy from nutrients. In turn, the brain is able to function more normally and improve its ability to deal with proteins that can cause harm to the brain. This means that there is less inflammation in the brain and improves the decay of neurons.
This is opposed to medications that currently treat dementia by using dopamine. As neurons decay, it becomes harder for the brain to transmit signals to the other parts of your body to tell it what to do. This causes symptoms such as uncontrollable shaking, the loss of fine motor skills, or the ability to walk. Neuron decay also affects memory and the brain’s abilities to recall information. Medications with dopamine are intended to replace this neurotransmitter that’s made by the body naturally.
However, medications targeting mitochondrial function may lead to an alternative for dementia treatment by focusing on improving cell energy production. Cohen notes that this research is still preliminary but holds the potential for future treatment options. She also adds that the health of your microbiome in your gut also plays a role in dementia and should not be overlooked when getting treatment.
Want to learn more about mitochondrial treatment for dementia? You can read the full article here: “mTOT Drugs May Help Parkinson’s, Lewy Body and other Dementias.”