Mind Matters

Alzheimer’s Drug for Treating Huntington’s symptoms !

Huntington’s disease can not be cured. It is a severe neurodegenrative disorder in which brain cells are greatly damaged. It is a genetic disorder caused by mutations. A drug called tetrabenazine, sold under the brand name Xenazine, helps in managing some of the Huntington’s symptoms. But it is not bale to arrest either the physical or the cognitive degeneration associated with Huntington’s disease.

According to an article published in journal Archives of Neurology Dimebon, a drug developed for treating alzheimer’s disease was found to be effective in treating the cognitive deficits of Huntington’s disease. The study was sponsored by Medivation.

The company is also in the process of developing altered forms of Dimebon, called analogues, to treat other neurodegenrative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke. The patients who took Dimebon showed tremendous improvement in average scores on tests measuring cognitive function. The average scores of people in the placebo (sugar pill) group remained steady. This drug made by Medivation Inc. under the generic name latrepirdine, seems to be safe with minimal side effects.

The research revealed that Dimebon seems to rectify the malfunction of the cells. It may act specifically on the vital cell organelle called mitochondria (energy producing powerhouse) present in the cells. The mitochondria synthesize their own DNA (Chemical which stores and carries forward genetic information).

Side Effects of Dimebon

Dimebon though by and large devoid of side effects may contain some of the following side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Stumbling and falls
  • Dizziness

The study reinforces the fact that Huntington’s disese is not simply a movement disorder any more. It has cognitive dimension as well.

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