An expert from University College London believes drugs that can push back the age that people get dementia could be developed within a decade

The dread of developing dementia in the future is something that’s on many people’s minds as they get older, but experts from University College London believe there is some hope.

Professor John Hardy, who was speaking ahead of a lecture at the Royal Society, believes a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – could be available within a decade.

He believes drug trials are showing promising and positive results and that these drugs, when made available, could potentially push back the age at which people develop dementia.

Professor Hardy said,

‘I think we’re on target for therapies by 2025. All of us are excited about drug trials that are going on now. In the coming year we will know if we are already at the start of a new era of better treatments for slowing or stopping the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

‘I am confident that over the next decade or so we will find more effective ways of preventing or slowing down the dementia. By 2050 such advances should be benefiting at least a million people in the UK.’

Researchers believe that in the future, these dementia drugs could be given as a preventative measure to people who have been screened and identified as at risk, much like statins are given now to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

Dr Simon Ridley, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said,

‘We’re not at the stage were we have a drug like a statin. The kind of drugs we’re talking about at the moment would be very expensive infusions.

‘But ultimately you could think of it in those terms. If we have identified people at risk that’s a reasonable assumption.’

For more information on drugs that can help to treat some of the symptoms of dementia, click here.