Dementia: HIV drug could offer ‘early intervention’ for early memory loss – study

Phil Thompson discusses his fears of dementia

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The medication in question is known as maraviroc.

According to new research it could stave off memory loss and early-onset dementia in middle-aged people.

Conducting the analysis on mice, scientists found a key mechanism enabling mice to link their memories to two different cages.

Subsequent memory loss in mice was associated with a gene known as CCR5.

Where maraviroc came in was as a tool to suppress the amount of CCR5 in the mice’s brains’ and help them to link memories.

Study author Professor Alcino Silva said of the results: “Our memories are a huge part of who we are. The ability to link related experiences teaches us how to stay safe and operate successfully in the world.

“Our next step will be to organise a clinical trial to test maraviroc’s influence on early memory loss with the goal of early intervention.”

Professor Silva added: “Once we fully understand how memory declines, we possess the potential to slow down the process.”

Understanding one’s enemy is the first key to defeating them.

The more scientists understand about the processes of dementia, the better able they will be to develop remedies to combat the condition.

So far, they have succeeded in some small ways, with treatments available to help slow the spread.

However, these treatments can only do so much; they buy loved ones moments of clarity.

Dementia, much like other deadly diseases, is ultimately tragic.

However, in the case of dementia, it is even more so as both sides of the dementia equation ultimately experience two deaths.

One death is that of the body, when it finally succumbs to the ravages of a disease mercilessly tearing it apart.

The other is for some the most painful, the death of the mind; that painful moment when neither side can recognise the person they held and loved with such tenderness.

Every year 67,000 people, a number greater than the capacity of West Ham’s London Olympic Stadium, pass away from dementia.

Statistics suggest this number will only grow as one in three people born today are predicted to have dementia in their lifetime.

Scientists, though, are positive, with predictions of new treatments within the next 10 years.

The sooner those treatments are developed and approved, the more lives can be saved.

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