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Debating the success of Alzheimer’s research

Published 27 August 2010

An editorial in the journal Lancet today (Friday 27 August, 2010) debates the problems of drug development for Alzheimer’s disease.

The feature questions why so many trials are failing at the phase 3 clinical trial stage and asks whether the animal models used prior to this are the most effective way to test the drugs. It also suggests treatments should perhaps start to focus more on the changes in the brain that happen before symptoms like memory loss start to appear. However, it notes that these are difficult to replicate in animal models.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'Scientific research is essential in the search for a cure and treatments for Alzheimer's disease and we must not be too disheartened that many drug trials fall at the final hurdle. The fact only one in five clinical trials across all diseases will be successful highlights the need for more investment so we can defeat dementia.

'Every day scientists are learning more about the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and this is an important area for further study and development. '

Dr Susanne Sorensen

Head of Research
Alzheimer's Society