Drugs can not slow the reduction of hereditary Alzheimer’s disease Health
Two experimental drugs have failed to prevent or slow mental decline in a study of people who are virtually destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease at a relatively young age because they inherited rare gene deficiencies.
The results, announced Monday, are another disappointment for the approach that scientists have focused on for years – trying to remove the harmful protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia.
“We don’t even know yet what drugs have been done” in terms of removing this protein because those results are still being analyzed, said study leader Dr. Randall Bateman of the University of Washington in St. Louis, Missouri.
But on average, five years later, the main goal of the study was not achieved – people who took any of the drugs received about the same in tests of thinking and memory, as well as others who took placebo.
More than 5 million people in the United States and millions more worldwide Alzheimer’s disease. Modern drugs only temporarily relieve symptoms and do not change the course of the disease.
The study tested solanezumab from Eli Lilly & Co. and gantenerumab from Swiss drugmaker Roche and its US subsidiary Genentech. Both drugs have yielded disappointing results in some previous studies, but the doses in this were four to five times higher, and the researchers hoped it would be more effective.
The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, and some foundations.
It was attended by about 200 people in the United States, Europe and other countries with deficiencies in one of the three genes.
“If you get one of these genetic mutations, you’re almost guaranteed to get Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Eric McDade, another study director at the University of Washington.
Such people make up only about 1 percent of Alzheimer’s cases, but their brain changes and symptoms are similar to those who develop the disease at a later age. This provides a unique opportunity to test possible treatments.
“We know everyone will get sick and we know what time it is” in their lives, ”Bateman said.
Most study participants already had signs of harmful protein in their brains, even if they had no symptoms when the study began.
Every four weeks they were given injections of gantenerumab, solanezumab intravenously or fake treatment options. The drugs had no difference in the combination of the four memory and thinking tests compared to placebo.
Side effects have not been disclosed, but “there is no evidence of drug death in the process,” McDade said.
Details will be announced at a medical meeting in April.
Solanezumab is being tested in another study to see if it can slow memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Gantenerumab is also being tested in two other large experiments that are expected to yield results in two to three years.
It is unclear whether the results will affect views on uvanumumab, another experimental drug whose manufacturers say it can remove harmful protein and slow mental decline. The results were mixed, and companies said they would seek federal approval soon. The company Biogen from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing it together with the Japanese company Eisai Co. Ltd.
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