Jul 23, 2015
By Jane Brown
U.S. researchers say it’s too soon to know if an experimental Alzheimer’s drug really does work, but early results are promising.
Drug maker Eli Lilly says early results from a large study set to end in late 2016 show solanezumab might slow mild Alzheimer’s if taken early enough.
The death of brain cells in Alzheimer’s is currently unstoppable. Solanezumab may be able to keep them alive.
Scientists with the company say mental decline slowed by about a-third in patients with mild Alzheimer’s who took the medication.
The study’s lead researcher says while the results are fairly slight at this stage, it’s hoped the slowing will be increasingly noticeable over time.
Scientists say it will likely take combinations of drugs that work in different ways to significantly slow or stop the progression of the disease.
Current medication, such as Aricept, can manage only the symptoms of dementia by helping the dying brain cells function. But solanezumab attacks the deformed proteins, called amyloid, that build up in the brain during Alzheimer’s.