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New Alzheimer's disease drug could slow decline in dementia patients, experts say

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New Alzheimer's disease drug could slow decline in dementia patients, experts say

Dementia experts are cautiously optimistic a new drug could slow the progression of dementia by one-third.

New findings into a drug called solanezumab have been released at an Alzheimer's disease conference in the United States.

Neurologist Dr Eric Siemers - who works with the drug's manufacturer Eli Lilly - said the medication could help keep brain cells alive and the disease from progressing.

"Based on the currently available data, the rate of decline is slowed by 34 per cent," Dr Siemers said.

"In other words, for individual patients... they don't get better than they were when they started the drug but it slows the rate of decline."

The drug had been tested in Alzheimer's patients with limited success.

But researchers went back and analysed the results for 1,000 people with mild dementia.

Eli Lilly said patients with mild Alzheimer's disease who took the experimental drug early in the course of their disease preserved more of their cognitive and functional ability.

Results showed an 18 per cent slowdown in loss of functional abilities compared to placebo, researchers said.

"It's a rough disease both for the patients and for the families and caregivers. I think if you talk to patients and families of people who in the mild stage, they typically will tell you this isn't maybe great, but if you keep it at this stage I can deal with this," Dr Siemers said.

References and further information

This article was originally produced by ABC News.

 

To view the entire article visit the ABC News website http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-23/alzheimers-drug-could-slow-decline/6642272

 

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