Alzheimer’s Disease is a disease that affects millions and even though there’s no cure, there are medications that help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse. Except now there’s groundbreaking evidence that scientists have created the first drug that appears to slow down Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is called Solanezumab and it blocks memory loss over the course of many years in patients that have a mild version of the disease.
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Even though there’s still no cure for this disease, this is the first time medicine has slowed down the rate at which the disease damages the brain. The American company, Eli Lilly developed the drug and it was tested in a large group of 1,3000 patients with both mild and moderate dementia. When the scientists closely analyzed the data from their research they found that the group of patients with mild dementia that were placed on that drug showed a 30% slower decline in memory and cognitive tests than those that took the placebo.
This proved that the drug could work as long as it was given to patients showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. Following those findings in 2012, they gave the drug to those patients that were on the placebo for two years. They wanted to confirm whether the drug was simply treating the symptoms, such as improving a patient’s mood or concentration or whether the drug delaying the loss of neurons in the brain, which is what drives memory loss.
The results were promising showing that the drug did actually make an impact on the progression of the disease. Scientists continue to test the drug and are currently seeing if the drug is even more effective when given at an earlier stage. The results support the idea that sticky plaques in the brain are what cause the mental decline.
The Alzheimer’s Society is very optimistic because these findings strongly suggest that targeting people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease with these antibody treatments is the best way to slow down or even stop Alzheimer’s disease in the near future.