London: A new drug for Alzheimer`s has shown "encouraging" results in early trials on mice, claim British scientists who believe that it can stop the disease before it seriously affects a person`s mental abilities.
In early trials conducted on mice they found the compound reduced by a third the number of `plaques` on the brain, which are associated with the disease.
The drug also doubled the number of new nerve cells in a particular region associated with memory, The Telegraph reported.
David Allsop, professor of neuroscience at Lancaster University, said he and colleagues were "highly encouraged" by the results.
"Many people who are mildly forgetful may go on to develop the disease because these senile plaques start forming years before any symptoms manifest themselves," he said.
"The ultimate aim is to give the drug at that stage to stop any more damage to the brain, before it`s too late," he added.
It is known that amyloid plaques are associated with Alzheimer`s. However, there is debate about whether removing them significantly improves symptoms, or if by the time they are formed the damage is already done.
"These are promising early-stage results, and several years more work will be required to assess the potential of this approach," said Dr Eric Karran, director of Alzheimer`s Research UK.
The findings were published in the journal PLoS ONE.