Story by: Norton Healthcare on March 18, 2021
A new medication may be showing hopeful results in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Donanemab, an antibody treatment from Eli Lilly, targets a form of plaque that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. While the medication hasn’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, clinical trial results showed those receiving the experimental drug had plaque levels the same as the average person’s. Researchers also discovered the drug seems to slow cognitive decline by more than 30%.
“We are confident in the results of the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ study,” Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in a statement. “Donanemab has the potential to become a very important treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.”
With the largest team of board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists in the Louisville and Southern Indiana region, Norton Neuroscience Institute helps patients and their loved ones find the causes of memory issues, dementia and other brain disorders.
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Scientists believe the buildup of plaque in the brain could be responsible for damaging and killing nerve cells. Most researchers believe plaques somehow play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupting processes cells need to survive.
While research continues on Donanemab and its potential to help Alzheimer’s patients, Gregory Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist and medical director of Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center, said the initial results seem promising.
“There are only a handful of drugs approved to manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but none treat the cause,” Dr. Cooper said. “Considering how devastating Alzheimer’s is for patients and their loved ones, it’s exciting to see new, potential advancements on the horizon.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are living with the disease. It’s one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., and the fifth leading cause of death among adults ages 65 or older.
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