Data from a recent trial involving 891 patients, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto this week, indicates that an experimental new drug (LMTX) appears to slow the death of brain cells and preserve mental function in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Mysteriously, it only appears to work in persons who are not already taking other dementia medication. It is currently unclear why the drug works only in patients not taking other dementia medicines. The findings may be a “statistical fluke”, given the small sub-sample population studied, selected from a drug trial which had otherwise flopped.
Positive results in dementia drug trials tend (understandably) to be celebrated enthusiastically by researchers and the media alike; only time and further research will tell.
Gallagher, J. (2016). Drug ‘may slow’ Alzheimer’s brain death. London: BBC Health News, July 27th 2016.
First phase 3 study of tau-targeting drug in Alzheimer’s Disease: From the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. [Press Release]. [Online]: Alzheimer’s Association, July 27th 2016.