Scientists have discovered that sodium selenate may be the answer that medical professionals have been looking for in the treatment of dementia. This new drug could provide a critical treatment for patients showing the early stages of frontotemporal dementia, the most common behavioral disorder in people 65 and younger.

This type of dementia is the second most common in people under the age of 60. As a Peer-reviewed research According to scientists at Australia’s Monash University, this treatment can stabilize worsening behavioral issues caused by frontotemporal dementia before it occurs.

This basic drug can significantly reduce the brain shrinkage caused by the disease. A second clinical trial of sodium selenate showed that the drug could affect cognitive decline and the brain damage that accompanies many forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

How is this dementia different from others?

Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is characterized by its rapid progression. Although most people associate dementia with the elderly, bvFTD can affect patients younger than 35 years of age. Symptoms manifest through disturbing behaviors and unexpected personality changes. After diagnosis, patients usually live for 5-7 years from the first diagnosis.

The university, in partnership with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the only hospital in the country working to eradicate non-genetic bvFTD and one of only a handful worldwide to study the issue, has undertaken a number of trial phases. They found that sodium selenate was safe and well-tolerated in patients suffering from this dementia for about a year.

The important results of this study show that patients receiving this treatment had no change in cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

According to researchers at Monash University, around half of all reported bvFTD cases result in brain damage due to protein deposits. Tau, the protein in question, has become the subject of research aimed at finding answers to reversing neurodegeneration.

Dr Lucy Vivash, who led the clinical trials with Monash University’s Department of Neuroscience, said the drug sodium selenate was instrumental in breaking down the tau protein. “In an earlier Phase 2 trial, we showed that sodium selenate given to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease caused less neurodegeneration than those who did not,” she said.

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