Alzheimer’s approved drug Aducanumab. But the experts are divided –

by time news

There is hope for the sick of Alzheimer And his name is Aducanumab. a drug thatFda, the authoritative American Drug Control Agency, has just approved – albeit asked for a new clinical trial – not without, however, some perplexities of a segment of the international scientific community.

The drug, manufactured by the company Biogen, proved to slow cognitive decline, if given early, in patients suffering from this pathology.

Which, we remember, begins to manifest itself with memory problems, disorientation and confusion, difficulties in carrying out daily tasks, in speaking and writing, and with changes in mood. obviously the goal of the new drug is not to cure it, but to control it. At the moment.

In any case, this is good news because it comes after twenty years of failure, in the search for a cure for this pathology. Now the new studies available, which have guided the decision of the FDA, have shown that Aducanumab if given at the first signs of disease can slow its progression.

But let’s take a step back and ask one of the leading experts on this pathology, Professor Carlo Ferrarese, Full Professor of Neurology at the Bicocca University of Milan, what is the reason why this drug can work.

We know Alzheimer’s disease due to the accumulation of a protein in the brain called it beta amyloid (this is the most accredited pathogenetic hypothesis, ed) – comments Ferrarese -. So this drug, what a monoclonal antibody, it works because It “traps” this protein and prevents its accumulation. But other monoclonal antibodies are also under study.

Some experts attribute the origin of Alzheimer’s to another protein, called Tau. But the Tau protein accumulates as a result of the accumulation of amyloid explains Ferrarese.

The other problem (waiting for this new therapy to become available in Italy too) to identify patients who are candidates for the new treatment. S – confirms the scientist from Bicocca -. Patients must be selected not only with the analysis of symptoms, but also with diagnostic investigations such as PET (an examination that can provide a photograph of the initial accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain) or with a lumbar puncture, which, , can certify the presence of abnormal proteins.

The FDA’s decision is opposed by the agency’s independent commission of experts according to which there is not enough evidence that the drug can really help patients. The US agency has chosen for an accelerated approval, designed to allow access to a therapy potentially useful for those with severe forms of the disease if, despite some residual uncertainty, there is the possibility of benefits.

There are also those who point out that the first positive result in Alzheimer’s treatment after 20 years (no drug had been approved for a long time) and after an editorial in the scientific journal Jama in 2018 had registered 800 failures of clinical trials on humans of potential therapies, with various multinationals having decided to abandon research in this field.

Now we see a light for those 600,000 patients, as stated on the website of the Ministry of Health, who would be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Not to mention those who assist them. Perhaps we can speak of a turning point, but the research on this pathology does not stop there.

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