HomeSciencePromising New Dementia Treatment...

Promising New Dementia Treatment Discovered: Sodium Selenate

Dementia Alzheimer's Abstract Concept

Monash University researchers have found a potential new treatment for a common form of dementia in under 60s. Sodium selenate was shown to stabilize behavioral issues and slow brain shrinkage in a Phase 1 trial, offering hope for patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia.

Sodium selenate slows behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, the second most common dementia in those under 60.

A Monash University-led study has found a promising new treatment for patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, the second most common form of dementia in the under 60s – resulting in a stabilizing of what would normally be escalating behavioral issues, and a slowing of brain shrinkage due to the disease. It is the second clinical trial to show that the drug, sodium selenate, may slow cognitive decline and neurodegenerative damage that is the hallmark of many dementias including Alzheimer’s Disease.

Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is a rapidly progressing destructive disease and can occur in people as young as 35 years of age. It is characterized by behavioral disturbances and personality changes and can be highly disruptive and distressing for both patients and their families. Currently, there are no treatments or cures for bvFTD and typical survival is 5-7 years from diagnosis. 

The Phase 1 trial run in conjunction with the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the only one in Australia targeting non-genetic bvFTD, and one of a handful worldwide, showed that the drug, sodium selenate is safe and well-tolerated in patients with bvFTD over a period of 12 months.  Importantly, the majority of patients receiving sodium selenate showed no change in their cognitive or behavioral symptoms, and reduced rates of brain atrophy over the trial period. The results from the trial, led by Dr. Lucy Vivash, from Monash University’s Department of Neuroscience, have just been published in the journal, Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions

In almost half of the cases with bvFTD, the damage to the neurons in the brain is caused by the build-up of a protein called tau. This protein is a major target for research in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as a way to reverse the neurodegeneration caused by this tau accumulation.

According to Dr. Vivash, sodium selenate upregulates an enzyme in the brain that effectively breaks down the tau protein. “We have previously shown, in a Phase 2 trial, that sodium selenate given to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease resulted in less neurodegeneration than in those who did not,” she said. Importantly those patients in the trial with higher levels of selenium, a breakdown product of sodium selenate, in their bloodstream showed less cognitive decline.

Reference: “A phase 1b open-label study of sodium selenate as a disease-modifying treatment for possible behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia” by Lucy Vivash, Charles B. Malpas, Christian Meletis, Meghan Gollant, Dhamidhu Eratne, Qiao-Xin Li, Stuart McDonald, William T. O’Brien, Amy Brodtmann, David Darby, Christopher Kyndt, Mark Walterfang, Christopher M. Hovens, Dennis Velakoulis and Terence J. O’Brien, 5 May 2022, Alzheimer s & Dementia Translational Research & Clinical Interventions.
DOI: 10.1002/trc2.12299

The research group is now conducting a larger study at many hospitals across Australia and New Zealand to further test whether this drug is beneficial for patients with bvFTD. For more information please contact [email protected]

- A word from our sponsors -

Most Popular

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

An Unprecedented 190% Quantum Efficiency – New Material Could Drastically Increase the Efficiency of Solar Panels

Lehigh University researchers have created a revolutionary solar cell material with...

Even Brief Secondhand Smoke Exposure Increases Risk of Dangerous Heart Rhythm Disorder

New research indicates that even minimal exposure to secondhand smoke increases...

Neuronal Crossroads: Decoding Brain Development

New research uncovers the developmental pathways of inhibitory neurons in the...

Quantum Control Unlocked: Creating Resistance-Free Electron Channels

New research demonstrates control over quantum states that could revolutionize energy...

- A word from our sponsors -

Read Now

An Unprecedented 190% Quantum Efficiency – New Material Could Drastically Increase the Efficiency of Solar Panels

Lehigh University researchers have created a revolutionary solar cell material with up to 190% external quantum efficiency, pushing beyond conventional efficiency limits and showing great promise for enhancing future solar energy systems. Further development is required for practical application, supported by a U.S. Department of Energy grant.It...

Even Brief Secondhand Smoke Exposure Increases Risk of Dangerous Heart Rhythm Disorder

New research indicates that even minimal exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder. The study, involving over 400,000 adults from the UK Biobank, found a progressive increase in risk with longer exposure durations, regardless of the environment. The findings...

Neuronal Crossroads: Decoding Brain Development

New research uncovers the developmental pathways of inhibitory neurons in the brain, highlighting the roles of proteins like MEIS2 and DLX5 in neuron differentiation and the potential link to neurodevelopmental disorders through genetic mutations. Credit: SciTechDaily.comStudy reveals how proteins direct nerve cell precursors to turn into specialized...