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Hopeful drug trial raises confidence in the fight against dementia

Author: Educare Staffing | Posted: 12th December 2016 | Category: General News, Uncategorized


Latest research has raised hopes of a major breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease.

Published last month, it revealed that a drug has been created which can remove amyloid protein – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease – from the brains of people who are in the early stages of the disease.

Called aducanumab, the drug is an antibody (a protein used by the immune system to neutralise bacteria and viruses) which has been designed to attack the amyloid protein which harms brain cells.

This is an important development because there are currently no treatments which can target an underlying cause of the disease.

The research involved 165 people who were in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. They were split into five groups with each group receiving a different dose of the drug. One group was given a placebo.

The study ran for a year and, when it had finished, it was found that people who took the drug had less amyloid present in their brain. Those who took the drug also showed a smaller decline in their memory and thinking abilities.

As this trial involved a relatively small number of people the drug will be tested in a larger study to gauge its effectiveness.

Commenting on the Alzheimer’s Society website, head of research Dr James Pickett, said: “These results are the most detailed and promising that we’ve seen for a drug that aims to modify the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

“What’s most compelling is that more amyloid was cleared when people took higher doses of the drug. No existing treatments for Alzheimer’s directly interfere with the disease process – and so a drug that actually slows progress by clearing amyloid would be a significant step.”

He admitted there was still work to be done. Larger trials are now underway and due to be completed in 2020. People with mild thinking and memory problems are being recruited for the trial and anyone who would like to take part can find out more on the Join Dementia Research website.

Although the new development is encouraging, it’s still early days and therefore important to continue to ensure more is done to improve the lives of those living with dementia until a cure can be found.

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