Thursday, July 28, 2016
Unprecedented Alzheimer’s drug slows disease by 80 percent
A drug that targets tau tangles in the brain has produced strong results in a large clinical trial, slowing the progression of the disease in hundreds of people.
The drug, called LMTX, is the first to produce really promising results in a large phase III trial, in which potential therapies are pitted against a placebo in hundreds of recipients. Drugs do already exist for Alzheimer’s, but these generally have only a modest effect.
The trial involved 891 people who already had mild or moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Some received LMTX alone, others took it in conjunction with other treatments they were already taking, and the rest received a placebo.
At the end of the 15-month trial, tests of mental ability revealed that those taking LMTX alone had deteriorated significantly more slowly than those taking placebo – both in terms of cognition, and their ability to continue carrying out every-day tasks, such as dressing and feeding themselves.
Photo: Tangles in the brain
THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY