New Alzheimer’s medication that slows the disease by 30%

3 minutes, 27 seconds Read

Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab. Image source: GETTY IMAGES

A second medication has been found to halt the growth of the disease in less than a year, suggesting that we could be entering a new age of Alzheimer’s therapy.

According to specialists, a breakthrough that had previously thought unreachable, we are now on the verge of having medicines that can treat Alzheimer’s.

Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, recently declared that its medication, donanemab, can roughly halt the progression of Alzheimer’s by one-third.

Nevertheless, there were some setbacks during the clinical trials because two participants and possibly a third suffered fatal brain swelling due to the condition.

Donanemab works in the same way that lecanemab did when it was shown to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Both are antibodies designed to remove beta-amyloid, a sticky substance that accumulates in the spaces between brain cells, resulting in the distinctive plaques seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Cath Mummery, clinical lead for the cognitive disorders clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the United Kingdom, indicated that the decades-long quest to develop medicines that can modify Alzheimer’s disease is evolving.

Dr. Mummery went on to say that we are now approaching a period of disease modification in which we can realistically hope to treat and support someone with Alzheimer’s disease through long-term disease management rather than relying exclusively on palliative and supportive care.

This is a significant advancement in Alzheimer’s research since it provides hope for those affected by the illness and their families.

While the complete results of Eli Lilly’s trial are yet to be published, the company has disclosed some essential findings from the study, which are as follows:

  • 1,734 people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s participated in the trial.
  • Donanemab was administered to patients as a monthly infusion until the plaques in the brain were eliminated.
  • The progression of the disease was slowed down by approximately 29% overall, with a 35% decrease observed in a group of patients that researchers believed were more likely to react positively to the treatment.
  • Patients who were given the drug also preserved more of their day-to-day activities, such as being able to discuss current events, drive, or pursue their hobbies.

Unfortunately, brain swelling was a common side-effect of the treatment, affecting up to one-third of the patients in the trial.

The majority of the cases were mild or asymptomatic, but in 1.6% of cases, the swelling was severe and potentially fatal.

Two deaths were directly linked to the side-effect, while a third volunteer passed away after a similar case.

Dr. Mark Mintun, the group vice-president of neuroscience research and development at Eli Lilly, acknowledged the potential benefits of donanemab but also emphasized the associated risks.

Despite the significant side-effects and lack of long-term data, the company plans to initiate the process of getting the drug approved for use in hospitals in the coming months.

Dr. Liz Coulthard from the University of Bristol recognized the challenges posed by the treatment’s side-effects but also noted that the drug has the potential to improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s by enabling them to live well for a more extended period.

‘It seemed impossible.’

After decades of fruitless attempts, the success of donanemab and lecanemab in reducing Alzheimer’s disease by targeting amyloid in the brain has convinced experts that they are on the correct route.

Professor John Hardy, whose research inspired the idea of targeting amyloid 30 years ago, believes that having two medications on the market is fantastic for competition and should eliminate any worries about this method.

According to Dr. Susan Kolhaas of Alzheimer’s Research UK, with the development of these therapies, we are now on the verge of a first generation of Alzheimer’s disease treatments, which was deemed unthinkable only a decade ago.

That is an excellent point. Early detection is critical for effective Alzheimer’s disease treatment.

Current diagnostic procedures, including as brain scans and spinal fluid analyses, are, however, not commonly used and may not be readily available in many locations.

Furthermore, if these new drugs are approved for use, the high cost of these drugs may pose a challenge for the NHS.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *