Behind the headlines
‘How can I prevent dementia?’ is one of the most common questions we hear at Alzheimer’s Research UK. And no wonder: without treatments to affect the underlying diseases, it’s natural for people to look for ways to stave off the condition. It’s also hugely important for government, as action to help people reduce their dementia risk should mean fewer people developing the condition in future.
In recent years, we’ve seen several trials of anti-amyloid drugs shelved after failing to benefit patients, so is it time to rethink the whole amyloid approach?
In recent months, there have been a number of reports in the media on the emerging link between blows to the head, contact sports and dementia. This week at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2017 we had the opportunity to hear from scientists to learn what research is going on.
As we embark on a new year of dementia research, let’s take a look back to see how 2016 got us talking about dementia.
It’s been a long and agonising wait for clinical trial results to show whether a treatment called solanezumab could be the first new drug licenced for Alzheimer’s in over a decade. But today, hopes seem to have faded for the drug after it failed to meet its primary endpoint in another phase III clinical trial.
With 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK, and this number set to rise to over one million by 2025, urgency is building around dementia research and the hunt for new treatments that could benefit the millions of people around the world living with the condition.
Most of the news reports that focused on this possible silver lining did explain that the effect was only seen in a very small group of the people on the study – though this may not have been clear from some of the headlines people have seen today.
Findings were reported today from the first phase III anti-tau drug in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s. The drug, called LMTM, was being tested in a 15-month double-blind, controlled trial in 891 people.
Dementia is the most feared diagnosis in the over 55s in the UK, affecting around 850,000 people across the country. You often ask us why some people develop the condition and others don’t, and whether it’s possible to predict who will go on to get dementia.