A new breakthrough in Alzheimer's treatment may be in the form of a daily pill. The Daily Mail reports that researchers are closing in on a drug that is thought to stop brain cells from dying and improve memory function. What is especially interesting is that the scientists may have discovered it by accident.
"We really didn't know if the screen would turn up a favorable compound or not.
It was blind luck," Dr Stephen McKnight told the news source.
McKnight's research team was tasked with finding out how to create new neurons in mice that were losing them and found that a drug improved memory in aging rats. Their hopes are to be able to turn the chemical into a once-a-day pill.
The findings could be a big step forward in looking for a cure for Alzheimer's, which is encouraging as the disease is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and according to the Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium, one out of eight people 65 years or older have the disease. That number is expected to be on the rise, too as experts estimate that by 2030, 7.7 million people will be afflicted with the mental illness.