New Alzheimer’s drug – exciting news

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug for Alzheimer’s.  This is exciting news, as it will lead the way for the drug to be used in the UK and worldwide.

It is also exciting news, in that the drug tackles the cause of the disease, rather than just trying to alleviate the symptoms.  The new drug Aducanumab tackles amyloid, which is a kind of protein that builds up in the brain in big clumps (known as tangles) within the brain of people who have Alzheimer’s.  This protein build up is abnormal and is thought to be part of the process of damage to the brain, but this is not fully understood what is happening and how this protein build up affects the brain.

However, in recognising the link between people with Alzheimer’s and this build up, the drug company have been able to try to tackle in and in doing so, once the drug is administered at the right dose, it is effective in reducing the excessive amounts of amyloid that build up in the brain.  A certain amount of this protein is normal, what appears to be part of the Alzheimer’s disease presentation is this extra protein build up into clumps (tangles).

The drug has been shown to be effective in the early stages of the disease with either Mild Cognitive Impairment and also the early stages of Alzheimer’s.  So the drug has been approved in the US, this will pave the way for its use globally and I am sure that this will be welcomed by those living with Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of dementia.

Alzheimer’s is just one kind of dementia, there are many others, this drug will have no effect on people with Vascular Dementia for example, as the causes of that kind of dementia are very different (a series of small strokes or damage to the blood vessels in the brain).

Overall, this is fantastic news and a very welcomed development in the work done to improve the lives of people living with dementia.  There is still more to do……..