Harvard Women's Health Watch

New drug shows promise for early Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from the biotechnology company Biogen have reported that a new drug reduced the amount of amyloid plaques—the brain deposits associated with dementia—and slowed cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer's disease. They presented the report March 20, 2015, at the International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases in Nice, France.

The researchers studied 166 people ages 50 to 90 who had been diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or one of four different doses of the drug aducanumab—an antibody that attaches to amyloid deposits and turns the immune system on them.

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