According to a new study, a new drug developed by Biogen Idec Inc. shows promising results in the battle against Alzheimer’s. The results were presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases and Related Neurological Disorders held in Nice, France.
The study showed the medication managed to decrease the level of cognitive degeneration and slow down the development of the so-called “brain-destroying plaque” in patients suffering from early or mild forms of Alzheimer’s.
The trial included 166 participants. Experts tested an antibody called aducanumab. The science world expressed a few doubts because of the trial’s small proportions. Despite this, the results still spark enthusiasm among scientists as any progress in the path to developing an efficient Alzheimer’s medication is dearly welcomed.
The study was conducted with the main purpose of assessing whether the drug was safe and lacking dangerous side-effects. The brain scans performed showed a reduction in amyloid plaque which is considered the main factor that causes Alzheimer’s.
The study also showed that the drug’s potency increased according to dosage. Furthermore, participants who were given the drug showed a slower rate of mental decline compared to those who did not take that type of medication.
The director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK considers the results to be very promising as they show this new drug is not only safe but may also “hold benefits in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease”.
She continued by saying that the study suggests that anti-amyloid therapies should be administered in the early phases of the illness. The next phase is to test the drug on a larger group in order to verify its effectiveness.
Alfred Sandrock, senior-vice president and chief medical officer at Biogen Idec, stated large-scale trials are already planned and it would involve hundreds and even thousands of people. He also mentioned that they would start enrolling participants later this year.
Only in the UK 850,000 people suffer from dementia and the numbers are expected to rise to 1 million by 2025 and even 2 million by 2051. More than 60 percent of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s. One of them was author Terry Pratchett, who died last week. So, the need for an effective treatment for this disease is growing bigger every year.
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