New Alzheimer’s Treatment Could Reverse Brain Damage

A new drug that promises to slow cognitive decline is having great success in early clinical trials.New Alzheimer's Treatment Could Reverse Brain Damage

Learn more about this drug, the studies that have been done to determine its success, and what will come next for the newest hope in Alzheimer’s treatment.

Alzheimer’s Treatment Exceeding Expectations in Early Trials

A new drug from Biogen Idec, a biotechnology firm, has surpassed expectations in early drug trials by slowing seemingly unstoppable cognitive decline. The drug, known as either BIIB037 or aducanumab, works to slow cognitive decline by reducing the amyloid plaques in the brains of people with dementia. Many researchers believe these plaques and tangles of beta amyloid actually cause the neurodegenerative disease.

The first study completed on the drug involved 166 participants and allowed researchers to evaluate dosage requirements and to evaluate the need for further studies on the drug. Researchers used PET imaging and found that the drug did help to remove amyloid from the brain. Participants who took the placebo had unchanged levels of plaque whereas patients who received the highest dose of the drug had a statistically significant reduction in brain plaque.

In addition to reducing amyloid plaque in the brain, researchers also found that the drug slowed cognitive decline when compared to participants taking the placebo. On one cognition test, researchers found that those who took the highest dose of the drug had a 71% reduction in decline.

Treatment Cautiously Inspires New Hope

The small size of the study leads many to question the reliability of the results, and a larger study will hopefully reveal if aducanumab will succeed where other amyloid attacking drugs have failed.

Biogen would like to recruit at least 1,000 participants for more testing by the end of the year to further understand the effect of the drug on the mind. For now, they are planning on moving forward into a late-stage study.

Another aspect of the drug that concerns some, are the side effects which included headaches and amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) which can include swelling around the brain. Developers believe these side effects may be able to be managed, but more data will be needed as they progress in further studies.

Despite the small numbers, some researchers still have big hopes for the new drug treatment. Dr. Al Sandrock, Chief Medical Officer at Biogen, said:

“This is the first time an investigational drug for Alzheimer’s disease has demonstrated a statistically significant reduction on amyloid plaque as well as a statistically significant slowing of clinical impairment in patients with prodromal or mild disease.”

What do you think about the newest drug treatment from Biogen? Are you hopeful this drug may hold the cure for Alzheimer’s? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Thomas Johnson

    God I hope it works!!

    • Mary Ellen Graham

      My Husband has the Alzheimer’s We have him on 3 Pills for it and My Dr just said last week it seems to be working they are Zetia Nanmde and Donnspril. He has been taking them for over 5 years

  • Yes, let us pray this or something close works and very, soon!!

  • Cindy Kras

    Where is the study taking place? We really need a better way of getting the word out to people about participating in studies that may be in their area.

  • June

    The side effects of this drugs raises concerns; swelling of the brain can cause stroke. I’m hopeful that we are on the verge of slowing down the process of dementia/Alzheimer’s, but still need further study results, before I’m sold on this drug.

  • Yo Mamma

    We have to accept some negative consequences and speed up the trials. If it were me, I would want to take the risk and accept the possibility of stroke.

  • Mariyn hawkins

    My husband Rick is going through a trial study right now, I do not know what drug will be used when he is not getting placebo. I just know it’s suppose to do what you are talking about. We are hoping it will buy us more time together. Rick wanted to go through the trial program even though there are risks.

    • Danielle

      Where are you located Mariyn and where is the trial being delivered? TIA

  • Vann Patrick Jr.

    Why not combine deep brain stimulation with this trial as a solution to the disease?

  • Sam

    Why not combine with natural compound, Boswellic Acid from Frankincense. This has been clinically proven to reduce brain oedema after brain irradiation in brain tumour clinical trials (3 x 1400mg capsules/day) and was given European Medicines Agency status as an Orphan Drug. BA has a similar structure to steroid which is used to reduce swelling. However, not just any BA will do, the clinical trial used H15 – there is also a patent for a x10 bioactive extract of BA by HealthCareProducts, Ali Altukaya that is going into further clinical trials for brain tumours. In addition, there are links for BA’s effective use in Alzheimers. Worth pursuing?

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