A new drug has been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, in what experts are hailing as a “turning point” in the fight against the disease.
Study finds donanemab slows ‘clinical decline’ by up to 35%, making patients Alzheimer’s disease Continue to perform everyday tasks such as shopping, housekeeping, managing finances, and taking medication.
Based on the results of the trial of the drug, Alzheimer’s Research UK said “we are entering a new era” in which the disease “may become treatable”.
The UK’s healthcare spending watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is already assessing whether the drug can be used in the NHS.
The Alzheimer’s Association says treatments such as donanizumab could one day mean the disease rivals long-term conditions such as asthma or diabetes.
charities believe in it ‘Could be the beginning of the end of Alzheimer’s disease’.
Donanumab works by removing amyloid plaques that form in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists have published the final results of a trial called TRAILBLAZER ALZ-2, which examined the safety and efficacy of a drug made by US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.
Researchers examined nearly 1,800 early-stage Alzheimer’s patients, half of whom received monthly infusions of donanizumab into the bloodstream and the other half who received a placebo for 18 months.
The study concluded that after 76 weeks of treatment, donanizumab slowed clinical decline by 35.1 percent in patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease whose brain scans showed a protein called tau. Protein levels are low or moderate.
When the results from people with different levels of this protein were combined, the rate of disease progression was slowed by 22.3 percent.
A small number of people experienced some serious side effects, such as brain swelling, the researchers found.
Meanwhile, three deaths in the doramumab group and one death in the placebo group were considered “treatment-related.”
The findings were published in JAMA and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam.
Once the amyloid plaques clear up, some people taking the drug will be able to complete the course of treatment within six months, Lilly said.
Patients treated with donanemab experienced an average 84% reduction in amyloid plaques at 18 months, compared with a 1% reduction in participants receiving a placebo, the report said.
About 47 percent of people with early-stage disease and low or moderate tau levels who took the drug were found to delay disease for a year.
Previous trials showed another drug called lecanemab slowed the progression of symptoms in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients by 27%.the drug is Approved for use in the United States early this month.
Alzheimer’s drug offers hope but remains out of reach in UK
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is far from ready to deliver the first effective Alzheimer’s drugs to the large numbers of people who need them.
Alzheimer’s Research UK estimates that 720,000 people in the UK will meet the standard of care used in clinical trials of lecanemab and donanemab.
These drugs work best when taken in the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease, or earlier when patients have what doctors call mild cognitive impairment.
But this requires diagnostics on a scale that the NHS cannot provide.
Read Thomas Moore’s analysis here.
“Possible to slow the progression of the disease”
“People with early, symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease are still working, enjoying travel, spending quality time with their families – and they want Feel like yourself, for longer.
“The results of this study underscore the importance of diagnosing and treating disease much earlier than today.”
TV presenter, 62, reveals she has Alzheimer’s
Bruce Willis’ family praised after Bruce Willis’ diagnosis
Latest Health News
Dr Richard Oakley, deputy director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This is truly a turning point in the fight against Alzheimer’s, with science showing that slowing the progression of the disease is possible.
“Treatments like donumab are the first step towards a future where Alzheimer’s disease may be seen as a long-term disease like diabetes or asthma – people may have to live with it, but they can live with it treatment so they can effectively manage their symptoms and continue to live full lives.”
No matter where you get your podcasts, you can click to subscribe to Sky News Daily
He added: “Diagnosis will be key to accessing any new therapy.
“We cannot have a situation where treatments are approved for use in the UK, but people are not diagnosed early enough or accurately enough to be ineligible.
“We need to have early, accurate diagnosis available to everyone, and the NHS to be ready to roll out treatments like donanizumab and lercanizumab if they are approved in the UK.”