Sumary of New Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab: what we know so far – and why more research is still needed:
- The drug, called aducanumab, has the theoretical potential to slow down the cognitive deterioration typical of Alzheimer disease..
- This peptide plays an important role in many beneficial brain functions, including promoting brain healing, synaptic function (which allows brain neurons to communicate), and even suppressing tumours..
- These plaques disrupt the function of brain cells and their ability to communicate with each other – which may lead to cognitive issues, such as memory loss..
- Yet beta-amyloid plaques aren’t the sole cause of Alzheimer disease, nor are they the only cause of cognitive decline..
- Alzheimer disease is complex, and can be caused by both genetic and non-genetic risk factors (including certain medications, lifestyle, and even environmental factors, such as air pollution)..
- Uncontrollable neuroinflammation – which can be caused by many factors, including injury, disease, or stress – is also common in patients with Alzheimer and may promote the development of the disease..
- nobeastsofierce/ Shutterstock Importantly, beta-amyloid plaques have even been found in otherwise healthy people – which contradicts the theory that plaques are the cause of Alzheimer , and that getting rid of them will halt the disease altogether..
- Having said this, given beta-amyloid is involved in many important brain functions relating to Alzheimer , targeting it may prove to be beneficial – but more research will be needed that definitively shows this….