Trying to Solve the Alzheimer’s Puzzle

Trying to Solve the Alzheimer’s Puzzle

With 3 billion dollars recently granted in federal funding, Alzheimer’s research is in full force. Eli Lilly’s recent promising drug failed in it’s late stage clinical trials but researchers believe that removing amyloid plaques in the brain, something the drug was attempting to do is the way to go. Biogen has a drug that is showing small but promising results. Other researchers are attempting to target the disease before symptoms appear. Using PET scans to identify plaque formation, a drug is being tested to prevent progression of the disease before symptoms appear. Further research is attempting to prevent buildup of a protein called tau which tangles the brain and is found in Alzheimer’s patients. With slowing down or preventing progression as goals, there might be a promising treatment in the future.

Key Points:

  • 1The main pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease is plaques in the brain
  • 2Few successful results have been shown in clinical trials for the slowing of AD, most notably seen by the failure at Eli Lilly.
  • 3Scientists are still hopeful that treatments will be discovered that can slow progression or reverse signs of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease.

But scientists aren’t giving up on the main hypothesis behind Eli Lilly’s trial: that Alzheimer’s can be defeated by using drugs to attack amyloid “plaques” that build up in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.

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