This summer scientists published some exciting results from an early stage trial of a potential new medicine for Alzheimer's called Aducanumab.
This is an antibody which targets beta-amyloid protein, enabling the body's defences to remove it from the brain. Beta-amyloid is known to form clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's and is thought to contribute to the cell damage which in turn leads to dementia. The new treatment was shown to reduce the amounts of amyloid in the brain and hinted at a slowing in the development of symptoms over time in patients who responded to the therapy. Encouragingly, the strongest effects were seen in participants who were given the highest doses of the new drug.
It's early days, but this could be very good news for the estimated one million people who are expected to be living with this devastating condition by 2025. The team is now setting up larger trials to find out if the effect is real and whether Aducanumab can really help to reduce problems with thinking and memory loss in those developing Alzheimer's.
If you or somebody you know would like to take part in this or other dementia studies, you can register your interest online.