Alzheimer’s is a crippling disease that afflicts people starting from middle age. However a new treatment might show hope for those who have it. An experimental drug has been shown to take out plaques that have formed in the brains of those afflicted with it.
The plaques on those that have Alzheimer’s disease cause mental decline among patients who have it. The new experimental drug used on patients has shown that it has slowed down mental decline and has at least taken out some of the plaques that have formed.
The new drug is the antibody called aducanumab, according to Science News. While this new treatment has caused much excitement, it is also still too early to tell if the effects would be long lasting. Further tests and evaluations have to be made before any conclusive results can be made.
The amyloid plaques build up in the brains of those that have Alzheimer’s disease. Over time these plaques pile up, which cause dementia among patients. It has been found that those who have Alzheimer’s disease have more of these plaques than even those with regular dementia.
Stephen Salloway is of Brown University is one of the authors of the research. He has said that the new treatment offers new hope for both the patients and their families. Other researchers such as Rachelle Doody of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas agree with the assessment. She is not part of the research team conducting the aducanumab trials.
Even though the results have been encouraging, more test subjects are needed. So far only 165 people have been tested on the new treatment, and it is still a small number, as Fox News reports. Study is still ongoing on the effect of aducanumab on the plaques.
Aducanumab works by targeting the amyloid-beta protein. This protein sticks together in clumps until they form plaques. What aducanumab does is break those proteins down. The results show that after a year of treatment amyloid-beta levels have dropped off from patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
What researchers want to find out is if mental performance could be recovered or improved with aducanumab. There are signs that it might help, though it’s still not certain if certain functions such as thinking skills and memory could be improved.