Scientists have just reached a new breakthrough which they are calling the “best news” in dementia research for 25 years.
The breakthrough is said to be a potential “game changer” for people with Alzheimer’s. This first drug that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease is finally on the horizon after scientists proved they can clear the sticky plaques from the brain which cause dementia and halt mental decline.
Scientists said they were amazed to find that patients treated with the highest dose of the antibody drug “aducanumab” experienced an almost complete clearance of the amyloid plaques that prevent brain cells communicating, leading to irreversible memory loss and cognitive decline, reports The Telegraph.
But what is exciting is that compared with those taking a placebo, scientists have also found that after six months of the treatment, patients stopped deteriorating, suggesting that their dementia had been halted.
If shown to be effective in larger trials, the first drug to prevent dementia could be available in just a few years.
“The results of this clinical study make us optimistic that we can potentially make a great step forward in treating Alzheimer’s disease,” said Prof Roger Nitsch, at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich.
“In the high dose group the amyloid has almost completely disappeared. The effect size of this drug is unprecedented.
“Despite it being a small sample there appeared to be a slowing of cognitive decline and functional decline. The group with a high degree of amyloid removal were basically stable. If we could reproduce this it would be terrific.”
Dr Alfred Sandrock, from the Massachusetts-based biotech company Biogen, which is hoping to bring the drug to market, said: “This is the best news that we have had in our 25 years and it brings new hope to patients with this disease.”
There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in Britain, a figure that is expected to rise to one million by 2025 and two million by 2050.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common kind of dementia and despite more than 400 drug trials, nothing has been shown to combat disease. This breakthrough changes everything.