Over 5 million Americans currently have the disease, and that number will climb dramatically as the baby boom generation ages. Millions more worldwide are afflicted with Alzheimer’s, threatening to overwhelm governments. A disease that slowly robs you of your mind can be especially cruel to its victims, but it also takes a heavy toll on families and caregivers as well.
So a treatment that can alter the course of the disease is desperately needed, yet so far there has only been failure and frustration. However, a drug called PBT2 is currently in clinical trials, and the anticipation is running high. PBT2 operates by a novel mechanism based on what has been called the Metal Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s. It’s believed that PBT2 can restore the natural balance of metals at the synapse of neurons damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.
If PBT2 is successful, it could be the start of a new era in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. Long anticipated clinical trial results are due in early 2014. Anticipation is building and the stakes are high. Very high.
Are we on the verge of a medical breakthrough? The science is rock-solid and the early clues have been tantalizing. So read on, and stayed tuned.
Joe Dever is a writer making complex and timely scientific information accessible to a general audience. He earned a BS degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and an MS degree in chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
While at U.C. Santa Barbara he investigated the conformation of small peptides in solution using circular dichroism spectroscopy and molecular modeling techniques. Prior to this, he worked for a year investigating manganese toxicity to biochemical systems.
Mr. Dever also taught organic and general chemistry lab courses for over three years. He gained valuable experience introducing scientific concepts to both science and non-science students.
The author is a Sun Certified Java Programmer and an accomplished Android app developer. He is currently providing care for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease.