New drug may cure patients in early stages of Alzheimer’s
Anew kind of drug to fight Alzheimer’s has shown promise when given to people in the early stages of the disease, a drug maker has said.
Known as solanezumab, the drug is a monoclonal antibody that helps the brain clear amyloid- beta before it clumps together to form plaques that are implicated in Alzheimer’s, which affects 44 million people living with dementia worldwide, and has no effective treatment. In 2012, solanezumab was shown to be no better than a sugar pill in clinical trials.
An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014 said that as many as one quarter of patients studied in the early trials may have had dementia but not Alzheimer’s, and that scientific trials should continue in people with confirmed Alzheimer’s.
This time, researchers reported on randomized, double blind trials involving 1,322 people with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
Some were given the drug right away, others after a period of two years.
Both doctors and patients were unaware of whether they were using a sugar pill or the actual drug.
When researchers compared the cognitive function of the two groups two years into the study, the difference was “statistically significant”, drug- maker Eli Lilly said in a statement.
The study is published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions, and was discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association Annual