Tweet Facebook Mail A promising new approach to combat Alzheimer's disease is being trialled in Australia.Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia which is the country's second leading cause of death.Several biopharmaceutical companies are testing anti-Tau therapies in global trials, including Australia.Several biopharmaceutical companies are trialling anti-Tau therapies to combat Alzheimer's. (9news)The therapies are monoclonal antibodies, given via infusion, to stop the spread of toxic forms of tau protein in the brain."We need new approaches and that's where this study is very exciting," said Associate Professor Michael Woodward, Honorary Medical Advisor at Dementia Australia and Senior Geriatrician at Austin Health in Melbourne.The new experimental therapies follow decades of disappointment to combat the progression of disease."We've tried over 200 different drugs for Alzheimer's disease and nearly every one of them sadly has failed," said Dr Woodward.RelatedWA scientists to test world-first Dementia implant after major discoveryAustralian clinical trials testing new approach to tackling Alzheimer's diseaseRisk of Alzheimer’s cut by leading healthy lifestyle, study findsMany drug targets in the past have focused on beta-amyloid plaques in the brain but the latest trials are targeting the toxic tau protein that causes tangles.The study will look at toxic tau proteins around the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers. (9news)"As amyloid spreads, it also sets off a spread of tau and tau seems to be the most toxic of the proteins that causes damage in people with Alzheimer's so in a way amyloid is the trigger, the tau is the bullet," said Dr Woodward.Biopharmaceutical companies Genentech, Biogen and AbbVie are conducting trials of monoclonal antibodies that target the tau protein.Most of the trials involve patients with early Alzheimer's disease.More recently, it was announced that Genentech would conduct another Phase 2 trial in the United States of its anti-tau therapy for people with moderate disease.Russell Jones, 78, of Ferntree Gully, was given the green light this week to take part in the trial of antibody ABBV-8E12.Russell Jones has Alzheimer's and was given the green light to participate in the trial of antibody ABBV-8E12. (9news)His wife Geraldine first noticed changes in his memory when he struggled to complete a sentence."He had an incident where he couldn't string a sentence together," said Mrs Jones."I've noticed that Russell doesn't always respond to my questions in the way that he should, he often goes on a tangent," she said.Russell hopes his involvement will also help others."A friend of ours had it and it was pretty bad. So we're just hoping that more can be done for the future," he said.
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