Experts caution that the new drugs designed to remove sticky deposits from the brain aren’t suitable for all patients. Scientists report that another recent pharmaceutical breakthrough can momentarily stave off the cognitive deterioration associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Donanemab, the newly introduced drug, reduced cognitive impairment by approximately 35 percent over a period of eighteen months, as revealed in data shared on July 17 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam and simultaneously published in JAMA.
The news emerges just a few weeks post the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of lecanemab (commercially known as Leqembi), another medication that slows down the disease’s progression. Yet another analogous drug, aducanemab (marketed as Aduhelm), received expedited approval back in 2021, though its access remains heavily restricted.
These new pharmaceuticals target amyloid, a tacky protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The introduction of this fresh therapeutic strategy signifies a milestone in the arduous journey of developing methods to decelerate the disease.
“I think this truly represents a sea change” asserts neurologist Jeffrey Cummings from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “It’s one of the exceptional occasions where the term ‘breakthrough’ is appropriate.”
These advancements may offer a glimmer of hope to the 6.7 million US individuals aged 65 and above who are affected by Alzheimer’s. Nonetheless, numerous queries persist, encompassing who should receive the drugs, their effectiveness, and the challenge of balancing potential benefits against considerable risks.
One fact remains unequivocally clear: these drugs are not universally appropriate. They entail risks and necessitate vigilant monitoring.
Additionally, even if a patient is deemed medically suitable, the high costs, restricted availability, and demanding dosage schedules might hinder the drugs’ mass adoption. Continue reading in American Medical Association (link).