Dementia Australia has welcomed the publication of the results of a trial showing that a new drug, donanemab, has been able to slow the progression of symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM said this drug was an exciting new development and another step forward in expanding the number of treatments for dementia.
“With dementia the second leading cause of death of Australians, and the leading cause of death of Australian women, we welcome any steps taken towards improving the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers,” said Ms McCabe.
“Donanemab will need to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in Australia. It also comes with possible side effects that need to be carefully monitored by health professionals.”
The drug, developed by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, works by inducing antibodies designed to attach to and remove amyloid plaques from the brain.
Dementia Australia Dementia Advocate Bill Yeates, who was diagnosed with younger-onset-dementia in 2019, said the results were remarkable.
“This demonstrates that it is possible to significantly slow down the rate of cognitive decline through the removal of amyloid beta (plaques) from the brain,” Mr Yeates said.
“For me it’s that ‘ray of hope’ that I believed would happen one day, where people living with dementia can have a future. One where you can lead a better life, one that you value.”
For support contact National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. For information visit dementia.org.au