September 17, 2016

Revolutionary Alzheimer's Drug

Alzheimer's: New drug that halts mental decline is 'best news for dementia in 25 years'

The first drug that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease is finally on the horizon after scientists proved they can clear the sticky plaques from the brain which cause dementia and halt mental decline.  Hailed as the "best news" in dementia research for 25 years, the breakthrough is said to be a potential "game changer" for people with Alzheimer’s.

Scientists said they were amazed to find that patients treated with the highest dose of the antibody drug aducanumab experienced an almost complete clearance of the amyloid plaques that prevent brain cells communicating, leading to irreversible memory loss and cognitive decline.

Crucially they also found that after six months of the treatment, patients stopped deteriorating compared with those taking a placebo, suggesting that their dementia had been halted. "The results of this clinical study make us optimistic that we can potentially make a great step forward in treating Alzheimer's disease," said Prof Roger Nitsch, at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich.“In the high dose group the amyloid has almost completely disappeared. The effect size of this drug is unprecedented.

Could this be the end of Alzheimer's? Revolutionary drug 'may stop the disease from ever developing'

While current therapies ease the symptoms, aducanumab tackles the underlying damage in the brain, raising hopes it will be the first to alter the course of the disease.  It contains an antibody that homes in on amyloid, the protein that clogs the brain in Alzheimer's, poisoning and killing the cells. In future, healthy pensioners could be prescribed the drug to ward off dementia, in much the same way as statins are given today to those at risk of heart attacks.

FDA fast-tracks Biogen drug, Aducanumab

The Massachusetts-based biotech company Biogen will bring the product  to market.  The drug which targets brain plaque in Alzheimer’s has been granted a speedier process based on its success, and is now undergoing phase III trials, which doctors say will determine how effective the drug is in large populations.  If successful, it would be the first Alzheimer’s treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration in over a decade.
Posted by Jill Fallon at September 17, 2016 6:22 PM | Permalink