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This drug failed to treat cancer, but it could improve dementia

March 29, 2019 / MARIA COHUT

Dementia — an umbrella term for various neurodegenerative conditions involving memory loss and other forms of cognitive impairment — is hard to treat because its causes remain unknown. Researchers, however, are making painstaking progress. Dr. Kenneth Kosik, the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara recently led a team of experts who were focusing on using a known drug to treat the toxic buildup of a protein called "tau" in the brain. Usually, tau proteins play a role in stabilizing microtubules. These are elements of axons, the "stems" that link neurons (brain cells) together and allow them to communicate.