Tests are being carried out on what could be the first ever treatment for dementia – a development which could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
It is thought that the treatment could be provided by amlodipine: a drug which is widely prescribed for high blood pressure and which costs just four pence a day.
Nearly 600 people are scheduled to take part in what will be a major study; half will be given a dummy pill and all participants will have their brains scanned at the beginning and one year after the trial. The participants will also have their memories tested at certain points.
It is thought that a reduction in blood pressure could aid blood flow to the brain, helping to improve both memory and cognition.
Should the trials prove successful, it could result in amlodipine being used as a treatment for vascular dementia in nursing homes within five or ten years’ time.
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