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Possible New Alzheimer’s Disease Breakthrough

Alzheimer's disease dementia

Some new hope is on the horizon for people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. And in the case of Alzheimer’s, the disease harms not only the afflicted but also every single person who knows and cares about them due to dementia. Now, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly says that a Phase 3 trial has shown that the drug Donanemab can help reduce the effects of dementia among sufferers.

Eli Lilly reported that in the study Donanemab treatment significantly slowed cognitive decline by as much as 40%. Donanemab specifically targets deposited amyloid plaque and has been shown to lead to plaque clearance in treated patients. Treatment with Donanemab significantly reduced amyloid plaque levels regardless of the baseline pathological stage of the disease. Among all participants, treatment with Donanemab reduced amyloid plaque on average by 84% at 18 months, compared with a 1% decrease for participants on placebo. Participants were able to stop taking Donanemab once they achieved pre-defined criteria of amyloid plaque clearance. Approximately half of the participants met this threshold at 12 months and approximately seven of every ten participants reached it at 18 months.

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“The general belief is that treating Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest disease stage is likely to result in more clinically meaningful effects,” the study authors wrote. They later added that the findings suggest that “a greater benefit from amyloid-lowering therapies may occur when initiated at an earlier disease stage.”

And dementia is probably the worst aspect of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes memory loss and other cognitive decline. It is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. The goal of treatment is to slow the progression of the disease and help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible for as long as possible. The disease is characterized by memory loss, difficulty with thinking and reasoning, problems with language, changes in personality and behavior and difficulty with activities of daily living.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. There is no single test that can definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, but doctors can make a diagnosis based on a person’s symptoms, medical history, and a physical and neurological examination.

“The positive TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 data bring hope to people with Alzheimer’s disease who urgently need new treatment options. This is the first Phase 3 study of a disease-modifying therapy to replicate the positive clinical results observed in a previous study,” said Anne White, executive vice president of Eli Lilly and Company and president of Lilly Neuroscience. “If approved, we believe donanemab can provide clinically meaningful benefits for people with this disease and the possibility of completing their course of treatment as early as 6 months once their amyloid plaque is cleared. We must continue to remove any barriers in access to amyloid-targeting therapies and diagnostics in an already complex healthcare ecosystem for Alzheimer’s disease.”

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