Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and is a huge and growing health burden for our current medical system to deal with at great expense. Unfortunately, the currently available drugs are only marginally helpful for patients who are mild to moderate in terms of disease symptoms and their effects seem to be short-lived in many cases.
In China, they have been testing GV-971, which is derived from a specific form of seaweed that is abundant there, for many years for use as a treatment for AD. They have finished initial testing in China and GV-971 is now available there for people with AD. Currently, they are also doing additional testing in North America and Canada, but that testing is still ongoing. Here is a link to a description of GV-971 and what previous GV-971 studies have shown regarding its usefulness for AD :
GV-971 has several methods of action, but interestingly, one of its main methods of action is manipulation of the gut microbiome to reduce neural inflammation and protect neurons, while reducing oxidative stress.
Interestingly they are just starting testing GV-971 for Parkinson's disease also as noted in this report :
This is really good news because the currently available drugs for AD are only marginally effective in mild to moderate AD and their usefulness can dwindle fairly quickly in some PD patients or offer no benefit in others. Add in the known side effects associated with one of the more common drugs in this class of drugs, Aricept, and you quickly start to realize the importance of GV-971. Here is a link to side effects seen in some Aricept users :
It is worth noting that they are considering further studies at even higher dosing in the future to find out if higher dosing can cause further or better response in people with AD. As far as I am aware, this is the first new drug that has come available for AD in many years in the whole world. In the human trials so far for GV-971 at the currently prescribed dose, showed a safety profile similar to the placebo group. In the trials for GV-971, it showed clear and sustained benefit when compared to the placebo group from week four right through to the 32nd week or trial end.
They have not said when the US and Canadian studies will be completed, but as soon as they are, GV-971 may become a reality here once the FDA approves it. For now, China has already added it to their "National Drug Reimbursement List " (NDRL) and reduced the price by 60%. The original price was RMB 895 ($140.16 usd) and was lowered to RMB 296 ( $46.50 usd). Generally, the US pays more for pharmaceuticals, so it will likely be significantly more than these numbers when it comes available here.