Alzheimer’s disease is a very serious medical condition that has terrible consequences to the patients and the people close to them. The symptoms are known to every one of us and, unfortunately, the progress in blocking or at least suppressing them has been very limited so far. However, a new clinical trial brought unprecedented results, making medical researchers very optimistic about the fight against the disease.
An international team of scientists developed a drug that is able to remove some proteins characterized as toxic from the brain and also slow down the memory loss rate in Alzheimer’s patients. The proteins targeted are called amyloid deposits and, even though scientists have not fully comprehended the way the drug operates, it seems to be able to remove them completely after only 12 months of use. Here are the details of the trial and what we do know so far about it.
The trial included 165 people who were at the early stages of the disease. They were separated into groups and each group was given a different dosage of the drug while one group was given a placebo. What amazed the medical experts was the fact that the team taking the highest dosage had amyloid deposits completely cleared from the area of the brain that was being monitored.
The chemical substance responsible for this phenomenal outcome is an antibody named aducanumab. Scientists have managed to link the lack of this antibody to the development of Alzheimer’s. It appears to be present in the brains of people who do not suffer from any type of cognitive decline; so, apparently, lacking it is the beginning of all the unpleasant effects the disease is known to have.
No matter how amazing and inspiring this breakthrough is, experts suggest that we should limit our enthusiasm for the time being since it is way too early to reach any solid conclusions. This does not mean that its importance should be demeaned since it is the first step towards defeating such a tough opponent as Alzheimer’s disease.
No one knows if we will live to see the day when Alzheimer’s disease will be just another threat of the past or if it is a scientific gift that will be offered to another generation in the future. What we do believe, however, is that this period of time will definitely come sooner or later. All we have to do is be patient and trust the medical scientists who have dedicated their lives to finding ways to make our lives better.