New clinical trial shows great results in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease
With an ever-ageing population, Alzheimer’s has emerged as one of the worst scourges that our elderly face, but there is hope on the horizon
Alzheimer’s Disease was traditionally a select, if horrific, malady that befell only a small portion of the population. As our life expectancy rises, and our quality of life with it, it is clear now that the percentage of people with Alzheimer’s increases exponentially along with that.
While only 5% of the 65 to 74 age bracket suffer with this affliction, that number rises to 13% in the 74 to 84 age bracket, and then a staggering 33% of those over 85 years old. With each generation living longer than the previous, it is a safe bet that one in three of us will face this disease at some point in our lives.
Scientists and drug manufacturers have been grappling with the cause of this horrible condition and in the struggle to find a cure, have a glimmer of hope in a new drug trial.
The experimental drug Lecanemab has been shown to remove clumps of beta amyloid protein from the brains of patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. This is being hailed as a “new era” in the search for a cure.
The trials were conducted among 1795 volunteers over the course of 18 months, and the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The report stated, “Lecanemab reduced markers of amyloid in early Alzheimer’s disease and resulted in moderately less decline on measures of cognition and function. Longer trials are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease.”
The drug was found to reduce the rate of cognitive decline by 27%.
Dr Susan Kohlhaas, the Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said, “These exciting findings represent a major step forward for dementia research and could herald a new era for people with Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first time a drug has been shown to both reduce the disease in the brain and slow memory decline in clinical trials.”
Researchers are quick to warn that this is no miracle cure, since Lecanemab carries some pretty severe possible side-effects.
U.S. health regulators are studying the results of the clinical trial before deciding whether Lecanemab can be approved for wider use.