Medical experts are “cautiously optimistic” as a promising experimental drug aimed to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease has reached its trial stage and is showing improved cognition and reduced clinical signs among those who participated in the study.
“These were people with very mild impairments, some confusion, forgetting someone’s name on occasion. That’s the goal: to stop Alzheimer’s disease when it’s in the mildest presentation,” said Dr. Lynn Kramer, the chief clinical and medical officer for Eisai in a CNN report.
The same report stated that the an anti-amyloid antibody medication, dubbed as BAN2401, has “not only reduced the formulation of new beta amyloid clusters in the brain, it reduced existing clusters by 70% on average.”
Kramer, in a Washington Post report, said that this, too, “is the first late-stage anti-amyloid antibody study to successfully achieve statistically significant results at 18 months, further validating the amyloid hypothesis.”
In the United States, over 5.7 million Americans aged 65 and up are said to have Alzheimer’s though experts have long said that this is not a normal part of aging. The Washington Post said the number of those diagnosed with Alzheimers could “mushroom to nearly 14 million by 2050 in the absence of new treatments.”
It is also currently the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes deterioration of memory, thinking and, at times, even behavior. Alzheimer’s Association said this usually develops “slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.”
“I think it’s a big deal, because we’ve definitely had some disappointments in Alzheimer’s drug development lately, so I think we just need some positive news. We’re obviously very hopeful,” said James Hendrix, director of global science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association.
However, Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs at the Alzheimer’s Association, said the Food and Drugs Administration’s approval will be secured once the said medication will show the same promising results in the next larger trial.
“You are not going to be able to go to the doctor and get this anytime soon,” Fargo said.