Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, according to the CDC, and it affects millions of Americans each year.
The CDC notes that there is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but recent treatments have been approved to help manage and slow its progression.
The FDA recently approved the first Alzheimer’s drug designed to slow the disease, and now, there’s a second drug in the making.
The new drug, Donanemab, could be seen as a turning point in the fight against Alzheimer’s if it gets approval by the FDA.
Clinical trials have shown the drug significantly slows cognitive decline in certain patients.
A study in the journal JAMA titled, “Donanemab in Early Symptomatic Alzheimer Disease The TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 Randomized Clinical Trial,” notes that the drug is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but it has been shown to slow the pace of the disease by around a third.
The authors of the study wrote, “Among participants with early symptomatic Alzheimer disease and amyloid and tau pathology, donanemab treatment significantly slowed clinical progression at 76 weeks.”
According to the BBC, Donanemab is revolutionary, but it’s not without risks. A common side-effect of the drug during clinical trials was brain swelling, which affected up to a third of patients taking the drug. Two, possibly three, participants died from the brain swelling.
The drug was found to be most impactful for patients in earlier stages of the disease. Clinical trial participants were able to retain more of their day-to-day lives and had better social and cognitive function. While the side effects were great and noteworthy, the benefits of the drug are also great. Around half of the patients on Donanemab were able to stop the treatment after a year and maintain a decent level of cognitive function.
It’s unclear if the drug will have a positive long-term impact on Alzheimer’s treatment; more research is necessary to determine its potential benefits and limitations.
Rochester First reports that it’s believed Donanemab will be approved by the FDA by the end of 2023.Whizzco