By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
SAN FRANCISCO, USA (Worthy News) – Results of a new experimental drug show that treatment of Alzheimer’s – the most common form of dementia – is possible, experts say.
Data released late Tuesday offered the first detailed look at the effects of the drug, lecanemab.
The announcement comes two months after its manufacturers, Eisai and Biogen, stoked excitement by saying the drug had shown “positive results” after decades of failure.
Yet critics urged caution: while results of a clinical trial suggest the drug slowed cognitive decline somewhat for people in the early stages of the disease, it also caused some patients to experience brain swelling or brain bleeding.
Currently, people with Alzheimer’s are given other drugs to help manage their symptoms.
But none alter the course of the disease. Lecanemab could change that reality. The drug provides an antibody like the body makes to attack viruses or bacteria. Lecanemab is engineered to tell the immune system to clear amyloid from the brain.
Amyloid is a protein that clumps together in the spaces between neurons in the brain and forms distinctive plaques that are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.
The findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine said that over 18 months, lecanemab “resulted in moderately less decline on measures of cognition and function” compared with patients receiving a placebo.
However, the study of nearly 1,800 patients with mild symptoms cautioned that “longer trials are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease.”
Yet, in a statement, one of the world’s leading researchers, Professor John Hardy, called the new drug “historic.” He is optimistic “we’re seeing the beginning of Alzheimer’s therapies.”
Professor Tara Spires-Jones, from the University of Edinburgh, also said the results were “a big deal because we’ve had a 100 percent failure rate for a long time”.
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.