Alzheimer Breakthrough – Till now people suffering from Alzheimer’s have received treatment to manage their symptoms but none of the drugs had the power to change the course of the disease

The treatment of Alzheimer’s disease has seen a new dawn with a medicine found to slow the destructive progression of the disease. The drug lecanemab has been found to have beneficial effects on the disease, however, safe consumption of the drug is still debated due to some reportedly potential side effects like brain bleeding and swelling. The drug has been found to slow the symptoms by a quarter in an 18-month study.

Alzheimer’ s is a neurological disorder characterized by the death of brain cells, resulting in a loss in cognitive function such as memory loss and inability to perform basic tasks as the condition advances. The symptoms are mild at first but get worsen with age. The cause of the disorder is the accumulation of plaques in the brain that might result in loss of connection between the nerve cells.

18 Month Study

The study Lecanemab in Early Alzheimer’s Disease was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study carries the result of the clinical trials of the drug administered to people suffering from Alzheimer’s. The study was conducted by the makers Eisai, of Tokyo, and Biogen, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Around 1,795 subjects participated in the trial with 898 assigned to receive lecanemab (10 mg per kilogram of body weight every 2 weeks) and 897 to receive placebo. The results showed that the antibody lecanemab reduced markers of the substance amyloid, the deposition of which around the nerve cells is potentially known to be a cause behind the condition. Results showed that the drug could moderately slow down the brain destruction caused by the disorder. The study mostly included subjects that were in the early phases of the disease and had mild to moderate symptoms. However, some adverse side effects have been fearing experts and drug safety is still under discussion.

How will the drug act?

Till now people suffering from Alzheimer’s have received treatment to manage their symptoms but none of the drugs had the power to change the course of disease. As per some experts, though the effects of the drug are not dramatically positive, it has given some holding in the direction that how the disease could be cured in the future and not just managed.

The disease is characterized by the accumulation of two prominent proteins in the brain, one of which is beta-amyloid. As this substance gets deposited close to the nerve cells, inflammation could occur, leading to brain cell death and changes in the brain chemistry. The condition might start with mild symptoms like getting lost, forgetfulness to serious verbal and cognitive impairment, leading to restricted movement and even death. PET scans have been able to spot these sticky proteins.

Lecanemab is an antibody that attacks germs. When this antibody sticks to the sticky protein around the nerve cells, its immune response will lead to the breakdown of the protein. It also means less accumulation of this protein around neurons and better cognitive function.

Controversial side of the picture

Some allegations have been flagged against the clinical trials of the Alzheimer’s drug that have raised concern over its safe consumption. As reported by some international media, two deaths have been allegedly associated with the consumption of the drug. The second case is of a woman who died from a massive brain haemorrhage that some researchers link to the drug. Analysts are still not clear if the use of the drug is increasing the risk of brain bleeding. Also, as per some experts, amyloid is just one part of the complex condition and must not become the sole focus of all therapies.

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by shalw

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