Alzheimer's: Looking for More Effective Treatments

The search for Alzheimer's disease therapeutic targets - a disease that currently does not have drugs capable of curing and / or stopping its progression - has been identified as one of the priorities of the World Health Organization.

To the efforts of the scientific community in search of more effective treatments, the professionals of science in Cuba have joined their efforts, as this is also one of the strategic lines of the plan, approved by the Ministry of Public Health said Dr. Jorge J. Llibre Guerra, Master of Science in the Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders Research Unit of the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INN).

In such context, the Scientific-Methodological Workshop, which was recently held at the Riviera hotel in La Habana, was particularly useful on the NeuroEpo Clinical Trial in Alzheimer's Disease (AD), which should begin with the approval of the Center for Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (Cecmed), explained the researcher of the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), MSc. Leslie Pérez Ruiz.

According to Dr. Llibre Guerra, this clinical trial the CIM in collaboration with the Cognitive Disorders Unit of the INN will begin in patients that are in the initial stages of AD, and the NeuroEpo will be used intranasally, the product developed by the CIM have shown in experimental phases a neuroprotective effect.

In this effort, Cognitive Disorders Unit, which along with the INN will be the clinical stations that will apply and follow up the patients that are receiving this treatment.

"It would be the first time to use this compound in patients and you have to wait for the results. This compound does not prevent or eliminate Alzheimer's disease, but preclinical results are encouraging in that it may help to change the course of the disease, slowing down the deterioration that the patient inevitably suffers. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease without retreat, it will always advance. What we want is to help in the delay of the degenerative process and improve the quality of life of these persons, and the family, "Pérez Ruiz said.

Dr. Llibre Guerra emphasized that Alzheimer's is the most common neurodegenerative disease in elders and is the sixth leading cause of death in our country. It is also the disease with the greatest impact on economic, social and health terms, representing in this way the first cause of disability and care needs.

"EA is produced by the deposition of abnormal proteins (p-tau and b-Amyloid42) in the brain. The use of NeuroEpo has not demonstrated that it can eliminate these proteins, but due to its neuroprotective effect it is expected to delay the deposition of these compounds, thus reducing the rate of progression of the disease and the severity of its clinical manifestations. Many experts at international and national level have pointed out that delaying the disease would significantly reduce the number of people with AD as well as the economic and social costs associated with the disease, "said the specialist.

On the other hand, Dr. Juan de Jesús Llibre Rodríguez, president of the Cuban section of Alzheimer's disease, stressed that the prevalence of the dementia syndrome in our country is estimated at 10.2 per 100 people aged 65 and over, Alzheimer's disease is its most frequent cause.

According to prevalence rates, in Cuba approximately 160 000 people suffer from this disease and this number will increase by 2.3 times by 2040, that is 300,000 people with dementia, 2.7 % of the cuban population, if an effective cure is not achieved.

The annual incidence rate of dementia is 21 per 1,000 people per year, similar to that reported in Europe and North America. However, the prevalence is among the highest reported in Latin America due to the increased live expectancy of people with dementias in our country, he said.

In the world, there are currently about 300 clinical trials in progression regarding Alzheimer's disease. Cuba will start its own. It is already a first step, let us now wait for the results.

Source: Granma
Author: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta |
Available at: