New Alzheimer’s drug proves effective in slowing cognitive decline

A number of scientists expressed, on Wednesday, November 30 (November), their satisfaction with the detailed results of a clinical study on a new drug that confirmed its effectiveness in slowing down… cognitive decline for patients with diseaseAlzheimer’s neurodegenerative, but they also talked about the potential for negative effects.

The full results of this advanced (Phase 3) clinical study of nearly 1,800 people followed over 18 months reported a 27 percent reduction in cognitive decline in patients treated with lecanemab, a Japanese pharmaceutical group. Eisai and the American Biogen.

It was previously announced at the end of last September about this percentage, which is considered “statistically significant”, according to the two groups.

side effects

But the full study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also showed side effects reported for licanimab, sometimes severe and significantly more frequent than the placebo group.

It was found that 17.3 percent of patients who received “licanimab” suffered cerebral hemorrhage, while the rate was limited to 9 percent among those who took placebo.

And 12.6 percent of people who received this experimental drug experienced cerebral edema, compared to just 1.7 percent in the placebo group.

However, the overall death rate was nearly the same for the two groups of patients in the study (0.7% in people treated with licanimab and 0.8% in those treated with placebo).

A real treat

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“This is the first drug that offers a real treatment option for people with Alzheimer’s,” said Bart de Strooper, director of the Institute of Dementia Research at the British Institute. medication for a longer period of time.

Alzheimer’s patients suffer from protein plaques called “amyloid” that form around nerve cells and eventually destroy them. Two major proteins, tau and beta-amyloid, accumulate abnormally in the brain, causing its cells to die and shrink.

Among the most prominent results of this is memory loss and the inability to perform daily tasks. This disease is considered one of the most important public health problems, as it affects more than 40 million people all over the world.

early stages

Licanimab targets beta-amyloid deposits, but only in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, which may limit its use because the disease is often diagnosed late.

Another drug developed by Biogen called Aduhelm, which also targets amyloid plaques, raised a lot of hopes in 2021 because it is the first drug approved in the United States against the disease since 2003.

But it also caused controversy, as it was opposed US Medicines Agency The opinion of an expert committee considered that the treatment had not been sufficiently effective during clinical trials, but the agency later restricted its use, limiting it to people with mild cases of the disease.

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