The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new Alzheimer’s disease medication. Aducanumab is the first new dementia drug in 18 years. The dementia drug was created by the companies Biogen and Eisai in the United States. It is designed to target plaques in the brain that researchers believe can impair cognition. Aducanumab is the first medication to target the disease process rather than just the symptoms of dementia.
The FDA’s accelerated approval of a dementia drug as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease leaves many questions unanswered, including how well it works, the cost of the treatment, and determining who will receive the medication. If administered in the early stages of the disease, the aducanumab, a dementia drug, could become the world’s first medication that slows the long-term progression of Alzheimer’s. However, additional clinical trials are required because the medication’s effectiveness against Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, is shrouded in uncertainty.
In December last year, Aducanumab was submitted to the Japanese Ministry of Health for approval. Mori Yoshihiro is the founder of a support group for people with early-onset dementia and their families. He stated that “Patients have been disappointed every time they receive information that the development of a new drug has been abandoned. So, we are very hopeful because the drug has been approved in the US as a treatment. I hope it will be approved in Japan soon.”
In Japan, around 4.6 million people are living with dementia now and around 7.3 million people are expected to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, the medication is still being studied. After many years of preclinical research, Japanese researchers have announced that a new type of drug treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is ready for human clinical trials.
Several animal studies have shown that the dementia drug improves cognition and reduces neurodegeneration signs in various dementia-causing diseases. A few years ago, a group of researchers created a dementia drug, a novel therapeutic molecule. The molecule is a calcium channel enhancer of the T type. To put it more simply, it is intended to promote neuronal activity by increasing the release of acetylcholine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters whose activity has been found to decrease in neurodegenerative disease.
Initial findings in Alzheimer’s mouse models were encouraging. Dementia drugs improved cognitive deficits and reduced the buildup of amyloid proteins, which are frequently implicated in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Further preclinical research suggests that dementia drugs may be more broadly effective in neurodegenerative diseases other than Alzheimer’s.
Of course, we won’t know how promising the dementia drug is until clinical trials look into the drug’s efficacy in humans. Fortunately, researchers claim that they are finally ready to move in that direction. Approvals have been granted and the very first phase of human clinical trials is scheduled to begin within the next year.