New drug that slows down Alzheimer's disease marked as historic breakthrough

Lecanemab, a new drug that helps slow down Alzheimer's has been named a breakthrough. <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Lecanemab, a new drug that helps slow down Alzheimer's has been named a breakthrough. (Image: PA)

A new drug that has been shown to slow down the destruction of the brain in Alzheimer's patients has been marked as a historical breakthrough.

It comes after new research ended years of failures and shows the start of a new area for the drugs to treat the disease, marking the beginning of the end for Alzheimer's.

The new medicine, lecanemab was created to be used during the early stages of the disease, with some suggesting that its impact on people's daily lives is debatable.

What is lecanemab? The new drug for Alzheimer's patients

Lecanemab works by attacking the beta-amyloid (sticky gunge), which builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. 

By attaching to the gunge, the antibody (lecanemab) attracts immune cells allowing them to break down the protein.

The immune cells then result in less protein around the neuron and slow down the process of the disease.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

The trial saw over 1,700 volunteers with early stages of Alzheimer's involved and they were given the new drug every fortnight.

The results were later presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's Disease conference in San Francisco, showing that the drug although a breakthrough, is not a 'miracle cure'.

They added that the disease does still impact people but the new treatment helps slow the down the illness by nearly a quarter over an 18-month treatment.

Currently, the data is being assessed by regulators in the US who will then give their verdict on whether the lecanemab can be used for wider use.

Lecanemab was developed by the pharmaceutical companies Eisai and Biogen who hope to get the drug approved across more countries next year.