Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: (603) 471-3004

Can Cancer Drugs Be Used to Treat Alzheimer’s?

By , 9:00 am on

Though certain drugs are typically designed to treat one type of illness, they can affect many areas of the body. This allows certain medications to serve multiple purposes. In a surprising turn of events, one study has given hope to New Hampshire Alzheimer’s caregivers. The study found that a specific cancer medication might also be able to treat dementia due to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

In a 2016 study conducted by the Georgetown University Medical Center, it was discovered that a certain type of cancer drug seems to inhibit the development of harmful brain proteins. The main medication examined in the study was pazopanib, which was approved by the FDA to help treat kidney cancer. Previous medical tests on this cancer medication have shown that is not harmful, so it does not seem to have many ill side effects.

Pazopanib works because it is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that decreases the formulation of harmful brain proteins. In adults with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, tau proteins do not work correctly. Instead of cleaning out materials that accumulate in the brain, the tau proteins become phosphorylated. These phosphorylated tau do not work well, which is how sticky clumps of amyloid beta plaques accumulate on neurons and prevent the brain from functioning properly. However, when tyrosine kinases, which are enzymes that regulate proteins, are inhibited, the tau proteins start working correctly again. This helps the brain to dispose of waste products and beta plaques that would otherwise cause dementia symptoms.

The findings of this study are very significant because they show that tyrosine kinase inhibitors, which are frequently used to treat cancer, can help those in need of New Hampshire dementia home care. This study has lead to several clinical trials that are currently examining how effectively pazopanib, nilotinib, and other tyrosine kinase drugs may treat age-related dementia. Hopefully, they will be able to show that these cancer medications can also be safe and effective when used to treat Alzheimer’s.

While researchers work on developing an effective treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s disease, families can rely on Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire to look after seniors with cognitive disorders. We incorporate the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM) in our memory services free of charge to boost mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. CTM is our patented activities-based program that uses a series of mentally stimulating games and activities to stave off dementia symptoms and promote confidence in our clients. Learn more about CTM and Home Care Assistance by calling (603) 471-3004 today to give your loved one the help he or she deserves.