Dementia: Searching for a cure

Professor John Hardy is one of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s research.

While drug treatments are available that can sometimes delay the progress of the symptoms, at present there are no treatments to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease.

However trials of new therapies have started, based on the latest information on what causes Alzheimer’s disease.

Making progress

‘Over the last few years we have made real progress in understanding the causes,’ says John Hardy, professor of neuroscience at University College London and one of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s research. ‘Some are genetic and some seem to relate to early blood vessel damage.’

‘We have not yet gone from understanding to developing effective treatments, but we are trying! In fact the first trials testing therapies based on this understanding will report over the next two years. If they are successful we will know we are on the right road.’

Other ‘treatments’

There have also been recent reports of B vitamins, eating a Mediterranean diet, doing crosswords and taking exercise being helpful in connection with the prevention of dementia. Are they valid?, we asked John.

‘There’s no evidence as such,’ warns John, ‘but there’s no harm in taking moderate doses of vitamins and doing all of the others to keep your diet healthy, your blood pumping and your brain active.’