A DRUG that reverses Alzheimer’s by destroying proteins that cause the disease could be on the way.

It targets the “tangles” that destroy nerve cells in the brain – leading to the memory loss and confusion that blights the lives of sufferers and their families.

Experiments on mice and monkeys suggest the compound could treat neuro-degenerative diseases characterised by abnormal tau levels, including dementia and Parkinson’s.

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Scientists are so excited they are now hoping to carry out trials in people.

Professor Timothy Miller, of Washington University in St Louis, said: “We’ve shown this molecule lowers levels of the tau protein, preventing and, in some cases, reversing the neurological damage.

“This compound is the first that has been shown to reverse tau-related damage to the brain that also has the potential to be used as a therapeutic in people.”

Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added: “This robust study presents an interesting and potentially powerful approach to target tau build-up in the brain.”