New experimental drug showing promise for Alzheimer's patients

A brand new experimental drug created for patients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease is showing great promise in slowing the disease, which scientists are calling a medical breakthrough.

Early test results say this drug targets toxic plaques in the brain, which researchers say play a vital role in the development of the disease, including memory loss.

Researchers tested the drug, "Aducanumab," on 165 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

After patients took the drug for a year, brain scans showed scientists that there was an impressive reduction in the harmful plaques and dramatic improvement in cognitive function.

That's according to a paper in the journal, Nature.

“One year later, the images of the placebo group are basically unchanged. In the three doses groups, a very clear reduction in amyloid plaques is shown – the higher the dose, the larger the degree of reduction,” Professor Roger Nitsch, of Zurich University, said.

See more: What is early onset Alzheimer's disease?

Scientists say that side effects so far include brain swelling and bleeding, but they can be managed by adjusting the dose.

Researchers stress that it's too early to tell if the drug could work effectively as a treatment for patients, but they are planning larger trials with more patients. These trials are expected to last until at least 2020.

Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia, has no cure, but there are treatments that are readily available to alleviate symptoms.


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