A new study of an experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug shows it may help lower levels of amyloid plaque in the brains of people with the disease.
The study, which appears in the Archives of Neurology, is one of the first to show the effects of an anti-amyloid drug in humans with Alzheimer’s disease, but experts caution that while promising, more research is needed before this drug can be deemed safe or effective.
Experts also note that it’s by no means certain that reducing levels of amyloid plaque would lessen memory loss and the other mental declines associated with the disease because the role of the plaque in Alzheimer’s isn’t fully understood.
A protein fragment called beta-amyloid builds up in the spaces between nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The new drug, gantenerumab, targets these amyloid proteins by priming the body’s immune system to recognize them as invaders.