181156970Have you heard of Axona? You may be hearing more about this treatment for dementia in the near future. Currently, Axona is approved as a “medical food”, meaning that it has not gone through rigorous testing for efficacy, but has passed safety testing by the FDA (for more, see www.about-axona.com).

Recently, Accera (the maker of Axona) has a new CEO and has been approved to start new Phase II and III trials for a substance named AC-1204 which is very similar to Axona. This means that the new substance will go through rigorous testing to see if it works for individuals with Alzheimer’s type dementia. (For more, see http:// appliedclinicaltrialsonline.findpharma.com/appliedclinicaltrials/Phase+News/Accera-Inc-Appoints-Dr-Thomas-Werner-President-amp/ArticleNewsFeed/Article/detail/689884?ref=25_)

Preliminary studies suggest that Axona may be more effective for improving cognition than current medications, but only for individuals with a certain genotype (ApoE4 negative). This means that prior to taking Axona, it may be important to do genetic testing to see if you have the appropriate genotype. Downsides of Axona are cost (about $80-$100 a month) and GI side effects in about 50% of people (diarrhea, flatulence, and upset stomach).

My verdict: Axona may be a good alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s type dementia, but only if you have a certain genotype. Before taking, it may be worthwhile to get the genetic test, especially since up to 50% have significant GI side effects.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

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