Carmel, CA New Hope For Those With Mild Alzheimer's Disease : View From A Private Duty Caregiverby Richard Kuehn on 10/14/12
There have been mixed results on recent research looking at the efficacy of a number of drugs that scientists are hoping could help those afflicted by Alzheimer's disease. Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer had announced in August that they were abandoning development on a drug called Bapineuzumab after a late stage trial didn't find promising results. However, a recent report found that this same drug did in fact slow the progression of the disease in those with mild cases and scientists believe that by building on this study, they can get one step closer to a cure. With most drugs on the market having only a short-term effect and the number of those diagnosed with this terrible disease exploding, scientists will take any piece of good news that they can find. Findings of the study were that 34% of those with mild Alzheimer's showed improvement in cognitive skills and 17% had an improvement in daily functions. Unfortunately, due to the sample size of 2,052 patients, the 17% improvement was not considered statistically significant and, therefore, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) won't approve the drug for treatment. In order for the agency to do so, a drug has to be proven to increase both cognitive skills and daily functions. Eli Lilly, which funded the most recent study said they will talk to regulators and maybe there is a path to move forward with this drug. Let's hope so, because any new drugs, even if they only are proven to show mild improvement, would be welcomed. By using this drug, patients may be able to stave off further deterioration for a year or two until the next promising drug comes along. Regular readers of my blog know that both my father and my grandmother passed away with Alzheimer's disease. I'm happy to note that Family inHome Caregiving raised over $17,000 for the Alzheimer's Association this year through a lot of hard work. Thank you for those of you who contributed.