A NUMBER of Alzheimer's patients who have taken part in a clinical trial have shown remarkable signs of recovery, offering hope for others with the condition.
Among those who took part in the trial of drug Anavex 2-73 was 61-year-old Melbourne woman Rosie Craven.
Principal investigator and head of HammondCare clinical services Stephen Macfarlane said before she participated in the trial, Alzheimer's had robbed Rosie of confidence and enjoyment of many aspects of her life.
"Rosie had enjoyed watching movies and reading, but as Alzheimer's advanced, she gave up reading and found it hard to engage with movies, often falling asleep," Prof Macfarlane said.
"Now after being on the trial, Rosie is reading again and loves watching movies and discussing them afterwards."
"She was losing the capacity to write, had been anxious about leaving home for a walk and stopped using her phone to communicate with friends and family."
"Now she is once again confidently going for walks, using her phone and writing greetings on cards."
"I just feel like I'm back to who I am," Rosie said.
Another participant, 72-year-old Sandra Rozanic has returned to past hobbies such as knitting and cooking following the trial.
Prof Macfarlane said Rosie and Sandra were not the only ones who had shown positive recovery signs during the trial's third phase.
"We're still not sure what causes Alzheimer's disease, but the prevailing theory is the brain is damaged by a build-up of toxic proteins," he said.
He said there had been a number of unsuccessful trials which had attempted to remove or prevent development of the proteins.
"The theory behind Anavex 2-73 is that it targets a receptor that, when activated, leads to the removal of these abnormal proteins from brain cells."
The trial has been running in Melbourne for some time and is now being offered at Greenwich Hospital in Sydney.
Researchers are seeking people aged 60-85 with early stage Alzheimer's in both cities.
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