Potential for new dementia treatment following research trial

New research shows a link between reducing amyloid in the brain and slowing cognitive decline.

Research presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) has found evidence in support of the 'amyloid hypothesis'.

The drug treatment BAN2401 was found to reduce amyloid in the brain, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Researchers found that after 18 months, the highest dose of the drug:

  • Significantly reduced amyloid in the brain of 81% of patients
  • Slowed cognitive decline by 30%

Only the top dose showed this effect, lower doses of the drug did not show this effect.

Doug Brown, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, says:

'It’s been 15 years since the last dementia drug treatment was developed, so any breakthrough in finding a new way to tackle this devastating condition is extremely welcome.

'We’ve known for a long time that the amyloid protein is involved in dementia, and Alzheimer’s Society has been funding years of research to understand exactly how. 

'To set the context, recent failed drug trials have suggested targeting amyloid may not be the right approach to slow or stop Alzheimer’s disease – but this study’s results could challenge that, demonstrating instead some reduction of cognitive decline with high doses of this drug. It is only the second such drug trial that offers hope that this approach is worth pursuing. 

'However, it’s still early days - the drug has to go through more extensive clinical trials to make sure they can replicate these exciting findings. Meanwhile, our researchers will be working tirelessly to explore all avenues for potential new treatments for dementia.'