New Alzheimer's drug could be available 'within four years if not sooner'

New Alzheimer's drug could be available very soon, says Alzheimer's Research UK

The new drug helps remove plaques from the brain

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Director of Policy at Alzheimer's Research UK reveals a new treatment could be available within four years.

The antibody drug called aducanumab has been shown to almost completely remove visible signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain.

After one year of treating patients in a test on elderly people aged up to 100, the highest doses had removed almost all amyloid plaques from the brain. Amyloid plaques, which damage the nerves and cause the brain to shrink, are cited as a major factor in Alzheimer's.

The patients' rate of cognitive decline also slowed during the study.

Matthew Norton, from Alzheimer's Research UK, explained his views on the breakthrough, telling talkRADIO: "This is a very encouraging step in a quest for new treatment that will modify the course of Alzheimer’s disease.

"The hope this creates in terms of potentially removing this hallmark protein in the brain, that we know is implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, is a real first step. We haven't had a new drug for over 10 years.

"We've known for some time that this has potentially been one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease," he added. "It builds up in the brain on the nerves and effectively destroys those nerves, which makes the brain shrink.

"[After more tests it] will really give us the certainty around whether this drug works. If that's the case, we would think hopefully within three to four years if not sooner, this could be available to patients." 

Listen to the full interview to find out more