A proposed Alzheimer’s drug, solanezumab, failed a late-stage drug trial, which may indicate that it had no effect on cognitive decline. In the drug trial, patients taking solanezumab fared no better than those taking a placebo. Researchers at Eli Lilly hoped that the drug would slow the advance of the disease by targeting beta amyloid deposits in the brain.
For a decade, scientists have theorized that beta amyloid is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and removing it successfully could stop or even reverse the effects. According to United Press International, the failure of this drug may mean that by the time mild dementia develops, it is too late to reverse Alzheimer’s. It may also contradict the amyloid hypothesis.
According to Scientific American, 99.6 percent of Alzheimer’s drugs fail to pass trails for treatment of the disease. The FDA has approved two kinds of drugs to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. However, neither can stop or slow the progression of the disease. Similarly, in the UK, only four drugs are licensed for treatment and the effects are only a temporary fix.
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