The Advancement of Alzheimer’s Treatment


Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes cognitive degeneration in thinking, memory, and behaviour, thereby hindering the ability to complete everyday tasks and functions. However, scientists have made advancements in medical research and are paving the way for promising avenues for managing neurological decline and other symptoms. With increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s and its effects, developing medication might have the potential to alleviate and delay the onset and progression of the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes cognitive degeneration in thinking, memory, and behaviour affecting the ability of the patient to finish everyday tasks and functions

Three Promising Drugs Have Been Identified

Effective drugs, such as disease-modifying drugs or immunotherapies, are necessary to slow down or completely stop the growth of Alzheimer’s. In particular, immunotherapies are intended to target the clearing of amyloid plaques from the brain to delay cognitive decline, and as of late, three promising immunotherapy drugs have shown potential in tackling the disease:

  1. Donanemab: Developed by Eli Lilly, Donanemab is administrated to patients using an intravenous drip to directly introduce the liquid medicine into the bloodstream for the most impact. Initial clinical trial results demonstrated how Donanemab successfully removed amyloid plaques in the brain and helped prevent cognitive function from worsening.
  2. Remternetug: Also created by Eli Lilly, Remternetug targets amyloid plaques in a similar way to Donanemab, with scientists ultimately hoping it outperforms its predecessor. However, in using Remternetug, patients are required to attend hour-long sessions to receive the medication. This delivery method can potentially provide a more practical way of administering treatment with fewer side effects than receiving injections.
  3. Lecanemab: Produced by pharmaceutical organisation Eisai, Lecanemab is developed for patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s and is administered with an intravenous drip. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for treatment in July 2023, noting its ability to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by 27%. It removes amyloids and tau proteins from the brain and is being marketed under the name of Leqembi for the public.

A Multi-Pronged Treatment

Although immunotherapy and disease-modifying drugs are a crucial part of the treatment process, it is critical to establish a comprehensive strategy with a number of interventions to effectively tackle Alzheimer’s.

It is important to note that cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine, remain a cornerstone of Alzheimer’s treatment. These medications enhance communication between brain cells by increasing levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory and learning. They can improve cognitive function and quality of life for some patients, especially in the early stages of the disease.

Memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is another medication approved to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It works by regulating glutamate, a neurotransmitter that can become toxic in excessive amounts, contributing to cognitive decline.

Behavioural interventions, including cognitive stimulation therapy and reminiscence therapy, can also positively impact patients’ well-being. These interventions engage patients in activities that stimulate memory and cognitive function, fostering social interaction and reducing feelings of isolation.

A Glimmer of Hope 

The emergence of three new drugs on the horizon can potentially give many people and their families newfound hope for treating Alzheimer’s, increasing chances of better prospects for their overall well-being and future.

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