The pharmaceutical company Eisai have announced positive results from a large trial of the drug 'lecanemab' for the treatment of mild Alzheimer's disease. This drug aims to reduce the build-up of sticky plaques in the brain known as beta amyloid.
The full data from this are due to be presented at a conference in November. This will include some really important details, such as potential side effects.
The drug will still need to be approved by the appropriate governing bodies before it can be administered. For the UK, that's the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). An application will likely be made next year.
Alzheimer Scotland Ambassador, Tara Spires-Jones, is a neuroscientist and the deputy director of the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh
Tara said, "The scientific community has not seen the data around this clinical trial, but if the data live up to the announcement, this will be absolutely amazing news. In fact, I'm a bit emotional at the prospect of anything working - I've been studying brain changes in Alzheimer's disease for 18 years and we've had a lot of disappointments despite some amazing scientific advances. I hope this is the turning point!",
"While this is not a "cure" in that it doesn't bring people back to normal, slowing cognitive decline and preserving the ability to perform normal daily activities would still be a huge win because people could live well for longer with Alzheimer's disease. If these data stand up to peer review, the drug could make a big difference and will be a fantastic example of how fundamental research into the brain can make people's lives better."
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