The ‘beginning of the end’ for treating Alzheimer’s may be at hand with a new drug developed to treat the cruel disease, according to experts.
Lecanemab, the new drug, is being developed to attack something known as amyloid, which is a protein that builds up in the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease, and that’s what Lecanemab targets.
Researchers have conducted clinical trials on the drug and have found that it can be used to slow down the cognitive decline seen in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a study that examined 1,795 people with early Alzheimer’s who were taking Lecanemab for 18 months, the progression of the disease was 27 percent slower in those who took it.
However, there’s still work to be done because the clinical trials showed a risk of side effects including brain bleeds in very rare cases, so while researchers think this is a good sign they are on the right track, there is a ways to go.
Read: Does Alcohol Increase Cancer Risk? New Study Answers
University College London’s Professor John Hardy, who leads the UK Dementia Research Institute, described the new drug’s success as the ‘beginning of the end’ in Alzheimer’s research. He said:
“The amyloid theory has been around for 30 years so this has been a long time coming. “It’s fantastic to receive this confirmation that we’ve been on the right track all along, as these results convincingly demonstrate, for the first time, the link between removing amyloid and slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.”
“The first step is the hardest, and we now know exactly what we need to do to develop effective drugs. It’s exciting to think that future work will build on this, and we will soon have life-changing treatments to tackle this disease.”
Furthermore, he also hinted at the possibility that the drug could cause side effects, calling for ‘further studies to be conducted in order to fully understand and mitigate these risks’ and encouraging ‘rigorous safety monitoring’ for those who might be taking it.
The UK Dementia Research Institute’s former director, Bart De Strooper, said one of the current challenges researchers have to face is determining which patients require treatment in order to solve the problem.
As he explained, developing a treatment raises the question of how to deliver it to patients ‘at the right stage in their disease progression’.
He urged more efforts to be made towards ‘encouraging early diagnosis’ so that this new drug would be administered to patients as soon as possible.
Read: Scientists Revive 48,500-Year-Old ‘Zombie Virus’ Trapped In Ice In Russia