Alzheimer’s breakthrough 2019

According to scientists, a new drug that can slow down Alzheimer’s disease progression has been found. At the pharmaceutical company Biogen, researches released the results o the final phase trial that was conducted among 3000 people. These results suggest that a drug called aducanumab may reduce the decline by 40% in comparison to a placebo medicine, over the course of 18 months. 

Furthermore, those who participated in this Alzheimer’s treatment study have also reported good improvements in their memory along with their ability to do the daily life tasks that include eating and dressing up. Currently, scientists are hoping that the drug called aducanumab will further help patients of dementia. 

What do we know about Alzheimer’s as of yet?

As of yet, we know that Alzheimer’s disease is a result of two types of proteins that start building up in the brain. These are the tangles, also known as tau and amyloid plaques. With the advancement in this disease, the proteins continue to destroy the neurons that are present in the brain. At first this affects the thinking skills of a person. Eventually, though, the disease turns into a fatal one. 

In this regard, there has been another study in which amyloid positron emission tomography was used. This technique is most commonly referred to as a PET scan. By using this technique the amyloid plaques in the brain were detected. All Alzheimer’s patients seemed to have these protein buildup in their brain. 

This technology was indeed a breakthrough as it allowed the scientists to detect changes on a molecular level that the plaques caused, in this disease. As a result of this, the information obtained from this technology could further be used in clinical assessments, allowing doctors to diagnose the disease much accurately and in time. 

Several other interesting findings also surfaced out from these disease. For instance, misdiagnosis was discovered in almost one-third of all the patients by using this technique. Before scanning the participants in the study, Alzheimer’s disease was thought to be the major leading cause for the impairment of cognitive abilities in about 76.9% of the patients. However, after reading the PET scans, only 55.3% of these turned out to be positive for Alzheimer’s with their thinking skills mildly impaired. The other were those who suffered from dementia, which was about 70.1%. There are a number of causes that could lead to dementia. These include frontotemporal lobar degeneration or Lewy body disease. These can actually be a result of damaged blood vessels or a stroke. 

As a result of the PET scans, a number of changes in the care of patient was also made. This way, doctors were able to alter the way patients with mild impairment are managed. At the same time, it allowed proper treatment for the patients just in time, depending on their condition and level of impairment. 

As medical sciences further advance, a number of breakthroughs are further expected in this decade, that may ultimately lead to an ultimate cure from this disease that affects millions.

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