Revolutionary drug ‘could reverse damage’ caused by Alzheimer’s by allowing nerve cells to mend themselves, scientists say

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  • NVG-291 drug can reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer’s
  • It removes a natural barrier in the body that prevents nerve cells from repairing
  • 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s

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Scientists believe a revolutionary new drug that allows nerve cells to repair themselves could change the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

Unlike current treatments for the neurological condition, the drug, codenamed NVG-291, works by removing a natural barrier in the body that prevents nerve cells from repairing.

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Paul Brennan, chief executive of Canadian biotech firm NervGen, said the drug offers the possibility of not only reversing the damage caused by Alzheimer’s, but giving people paralyzed from a spinal cord injury a chance to walk again.

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An estimated 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia, of whom more than half have Alzheimer’s. Picture, Shutterstock of a sad man

‘We call it repair and that’s what separates us from almost everything that’s in the central nervous system’ [research] space,’ he said.

‘Everyone, when they’re looking at neurodegenerative diseases – whether it’s Alzheimer’s, ALS’ [known as motor neurone disease in Britain], or multiple sclerosis – trying to stop the progression of the disease. We are trying to repair the damage.

Mr. Brennan said trials involving rats and mice have produced phenomenal results and that NVG-291 will be seen as a successful drug in human trials, even if we get only half the amount of effect.

An estimated 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia, of whom more than half have Alzheimer’s.

To show that it is safe for humans, NVG-291 is now being administered to healthy volunteers, and from next year NervGen plans to give it to patients with Alzheimer’s, spinal cord damage and the nervous system disease multiple sclerosis. has created.

Unlike current treatments for the neurological condition, the drug, codenamed NVG-291, works by removing a natural barrier in the body that prevents nerve cells from repairing.

Unlike current treatments for the neurological condition, the drug, codenamed NVG-291, works by removing a natural barrier in the body that prevents nerve cells from repairing.

If the drug passes rigorous testing, Mr. Brennan believes it could be available to the public within five years.

Last night, Dr James Connell, Head of Translational Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘It is encouraging to see experiments to investigate the potential for less explored pathways such as promoting repair processes in the brain.

‘But it is too early to say whether NVG-291 will help improve symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s disease.’

Dr Claire Walton, Head of Research, MS Society, said: ‘This research sheds light on an interesting new approach.’

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