New Alzheimer's drug slows disease by a third

New Alzheimer's drug slows disease by a third

In Alzheimer's disease, brain cells waste away (degenerate) and die. People with Alzheimer's may repeat statements, forget conversations, routinely misplace possessions, get lost in familiar places, eventually forget the names of family members and everyday objects and have trouble finding the right words to express themselves. As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer's disease will present severe memory loss and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks. There is no treatment to cure Alzheimer's disease or alter its progression.

Donanemab is an antibody similar to those the body makes to attack viruses. But these are engineered to clear a sticky gunk from the brain, called beta amyloid. Amyloid builds up in the spaces between brain cells, forming distinctive plaques that are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's.

Donanemab was given as a monthly infusion to 1,734 people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's until the distinctive plaques in the brain were gone. The rate of the progress of Alzheimer's disease was seen to slow by about 29 per cent overall. Participants administrated Donanemab also retained more of their day-to-day lives such as being able to discuss current events, drive or pursue hobbies

This drug has been shown to slow progression of memory loss and thinking problems by about a third, but that rate doubles to 60 percent if the drug is started when patients are only mildly impaired, according to new trial data presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Amsterdam.

Alzheimer's Association International Conference, 2023

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