Treatments for Alzheimer’s Proving Elusive: Other Ways To Control The Disease? See Updates Here!

  • comments
  • print
  • email
Dec 14, 2016 01:08 AM EST

Social worker Cecilia Aceves shows cutouts during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home, which specializes in Alzheimer patients. (Photo : Getty Images/David Ramos)

Finding a treatment plan to reverse or stop Alzheimer's disease is proving elusive. The success rate for Alzheimer's drugs is still stuck on .5%.

No new drug has been approved in the United States since Memantine which was approved in 2003. That drug aims to help symptoms such as memory problems but cannot stop the long-term progression of the disease.

Presently, the much needed solution, is a drug that will attack the underlying cause of the degenerative brain disorder, according to the Conolly Norman professor of old age Psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin, Brian Lawlor, MD, along with other researchers in the field.

Research has shown that the disease affects up to 5 million Americans and is also the sixth leading cause of death in the US.

He says the Alzheimer's research community is currently where cancer research was 20-30 years ago. Lawlor added that if a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it seems like the kiss of death as there is no available treatment plan.

He was among the 1,200 researchers and other health care professionals who gathered at an international conference to share the latest results on medication that is tested for the disease.

StatesNews reported that, before the conference even started, the Alzheimer's community got an update that the drug (solanezumab), which was in the final stage of testing, did not slow the declines in memory degeneration.  Solanezumab was created to target a substance in the Brain called amyloid, which is present in people with the disease.

 Drugs created to treats amyloid have all been a failure.

Other potential treatment plan that was discussed at the conference includes: Aducanuma,it is another drug that targets amyloid. Samantha Budd, PhD, the vice president of clinical development at Biogen said, it reduces the sticky plaques better in the brains of patients who got the drug than in those who got a Placebo over 54 weeks.

She also said that people taking the drug shows less decline on mental tests at 52 weeks. The drug making company has launched phase III trials, which is the final phase before seeking approval, to confirm that the drug works and is safe.

LMTM is a drug that attacks tau protein, a substance that forms tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Lon Schneider, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology, and gerontology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine stated that, patients with mild Alzheimer's who took LMTM did not show any difference in mental decline, in comparison to placebo after 18 months.

He added that future study could focus on the regimen as the drug showed some promise in a small group of patient who took a lower dose without combining with other Alzheimer's drugs.

The beta secretase cleaving enzyme (BACE) works by blocking the formation of amyloid Protein. According to John Sims, MD, senior medical director at Eli Lilly' Two phase III trials of a drug known as AZD3293 will be conducted, with plans to enroll more than 4,000 patients. The study will not be conducted until 2019, According to Webmd.

 Nilvadipine, a blood pressure drug is still under study in a European trial that includes more than 500 patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer's. Some high blood pressure medications may have a protective role not just for stroke, but also for Alzheimer's disease, by decreasing inflammation and reducing amyloid.

The study was completed in October 2016, but however, the results are expected by spring 2017.

John Didsbury, PhD, the CEO of T3D Therapeutics said that the deterioration seen in Alzheimer's may be linked to problems in how the brain make use of blood sugars and fats, similar to type II diabetes.

He added that, testing T3D-959, aims to improve how the brain does this function in 32 patients. The phase II study found improvement in memory and thinking after 2 weeks, but the drug is under further testing.

Join the Conversation
Real Time Analytics