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Goodbye, Alzheimers? Antibody-based treatment may cure dementia

First Posted: Nov 10, 2016 09:29 AM EST
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Currently, there are fewer than 30 million people worldwide diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's, but it seems that the figure gets higher each year. Experts predict that by 2050, dementia could affect more than 130 million people and that will probably cost USD 1 trillion per year in healthcare in the US. Due to ineffectiveness, specialists have stopped over 200 clinical trials for anti-dementia therapies.

However, experts say that these three things can calm such dangerous surge: better diagnostics and drugs, more money for research, victory that would boost morale. According to Dr. Preston Estep, a director of gerontology at Harvard Medical School, he believes that the cause of high rates of dementia in countries such as the US and UK relate greatly to people's diet. He stated that it would take years before any effective drug will be available in the market so it still bests to change the lifestyle, reported by NZ Herald.

In addition, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Ronald Petersen stated that "We really need a success," cause after so many failures they only have one clinical win "would galvanize people's interest that this isn't a hopeless disorder." The fifth biggest cause of death in high-income countries is Dementia and it is the most expensive because patients need to have a constant and costly care for years yet the annual funding for dementia in the year 2015 was only around $700 million, as reported by Nature.

According to co-founder and chair of UsAgainstAlzheimer's, non-profit organization in Maryland Chevy Chase, George Vradenburg, said that one problem of the disease is the visibility cause "there wasn't any comparable upswell of attention to Alzheimer's." Yet, the answer could all depend on a drug developed by Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana called "solanezumab," an antibody treatment that removes the protein amyloid-β, which create clumps to form sticky plaques in the brains of people who have dementia.

In addition, at the end of the year, Lilly will announce the result of the clinical trial testing of 2,100 persons to establish whether the drug can slow the cognitive decline in people having mild dementia. Though no one expects a cure against dementia, if solanezumab does delay the brain's degradation, it might help to people to perform 30-40% much better on cognitive tests than those under placebo. 

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