Researchers in the United States recently announced that a drug used to treat a certain type of cancer may be able to treat Alzheimer's disease. Reuters reports that the drug has shown potential in reducing the appearance of amyeloid plaques - one of the main causes of the mental illness.
According to the news source, the study revealed that Gleevack, which is a pill that is given to chronic myeloid leukemia patients, was able to block gamma-secretase activating protein, which can halt the production of the plaques.
"Our findings reveal that gamma-secretase activating protein is a potential target for a new class of anti-amyloid therapies," Paul Greengard, one of the researchers, told the news provider.
While the drug will have to altered for Alzheimer's patients, and more studies are necessary, the findings are an encouraging step in the fight against the progression of the disease.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, while currently affecting 5.3 million Americans and causing $172 billion in annual costs.