New Alzheimer's drug shown to reduce memory loss for some patients

Dr. Isaacson says research has shown the drug, manufactured by Elli Lilly, has shown to help clear amyloid plaques, clumps of protein thought to disrupt cell function, from the brain.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Jul 7, 2024, 2:54 PM

Updated 15 days ago

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The Food and Drug Administration approved a new Alzheimer's drug that has shown to halt progressive memory loss in people who are in the earliest stage of disease.
The clinical trials of drug, Donanemab, also known by its brand name Kisunla, showed a 35% slowing of Alzheimer's in people with early symptoms.
"Thirty-five percent. That buys a lot of time. It's an exciting time to be a neurologist, it's a hopeful time to be a patient with the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Richard Isaacson of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases.
During the trials, some patients did experience side effects which included severe headaches, dizziness and nausea. In some cases, patients had to stop treatment because they experienced brain swelling and in rare cases, brain bleeding.
Dr. Isaacson says research has shown the drug, manufactured by Elli Lilly, has shown to help clear amyloid plaques, clumps of protein thought to disrupt cell function, from the brain.
Researchers also discovered the drug reduced participant's risk of progressing to the next stage of Alzheimer's by up 39%.
Isaacson and other neurologists warn the drug does not offer a cure for Alzheimer's.
"There's no magic pill or IV – this is an IV medication. You have to do MRIs frequently to make sure that no side effects are developing," says Dr. Isaacson.
However, Isaacson and others welcome an additional treatment tool that has provided remarkable results for patients.
"In the study, they treated patients for six months, 12 months, 18 months and sometimes patients can get off the drug in a year," he says.
The Alzheimer's Association estimates 665,000 people in the tri-state area have the disease.
Alzheimer’s clinical trial: Website


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