Scientists’ joy as decades-long search for an Alzheimer’s drug finally pays off

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Scientists’ joy as decades-long search for an Alzheimer’s drug finally pays off

  • Lecanemab has been shown to slow cognitive decline and address the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s.
  • Until now, none have succeeded in the double objective of the search for an innovative drug.
  • The results show that those who received the drug experienced a less rapid decline in memory.

Pharmaceutical companies have spent decades and billions of pounds searching for an innovative drug for Alzheimer’s.

So far, none have succeeded in the dual goals of slowing cognitive decline and addressing what is believed to be the underlying cause.

Lecanemab has generated excitement because it is the first to show in clinical trials that it can do both. It works by removing harmful amyloid toxins, which form plaques in the brain where they kill cells and impair an individual’s ability to function.

The results show that those who received the drug experienced a less rapid decline in memory and problem-solving skills and their ability to perform everyday tasks than those who received a placebo.

The results show that those who received the drug experienced a less rapid decline in memory and problem-solving skills and their ability to perform everyday tasks than those who received a placebo.

The trial participants had tested positive for amyloid before enrollment, but had only mild cognitive impairment or early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

The results show that those who received the drug experienced a less rapid decline in memory and problem-solving skills and their ability to perform everyday tasks than those who received a placebo.

They also had a reduced accumulation of amyloid in the brain. Experts say that lecanemab was successful because it was designed to attack amyloid before it became too clogged.

An experimental Alzheimer's drug called lecanemab has significantly slowed cognitive and functional decline by 27% in a large trial of patients

An experimental Alzheimer's drug called lecanemab has significantly slowed cognitive and functional decline by 27% in a large trial of patients

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug called lecanemab has significantly slowed cognitive and functional decline by 27% in a large trial of patients

This is thought to have made the sticky substance easier to break.

The fact that the patients only had early-stage disease may also be important, as the amyloid may need to be removed before it has a chance to do too much damage.

Patients diagnosed with dementia currently receive medications that help increase the levels of chemical messengers in the brain. These do not work for everyone and only temporarily mask the effect of the disease.

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