Donanemab: The New Alzheimer’s Drug

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Source: The post is based on the article “The New Alzheimer’s Drug” published in The Hindu on 16th May 2023

What is the News?

A second drug named “Donanemab” has been found effective in checking cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer Disease?

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An estimate suggests that India’s burden of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is a part, will increase to 14 million by 2050.

What is Donanemab?

Donanemab is a drug being developed to treat people with early Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug is being developed by the U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lill.

The drug works by targeting a common hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain: amyloid plaques.

Note: Beta-amyloid is a protein which plays an important role in brain function for everyone. But in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid turns toxic – clumping together and disrupting the connection between brain cells and their function. This leads to cognitive issues such as memory loss.

Significance: Donanemab has been found to slow down cognitive decline by 35% when compared with a placebo in a phase III trial.

– This is the second drug, within a span of one year, that has been found to be effective in checking cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

– However, it is important to note that the two drugs don’t stop or reverse Alzheimers.

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