Scientists warn against ‘miracle’ Alzheimer’s drugs — RT World News

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Lecanemab and donanemab could cause the shrinkage, swelling, and bleeding of the mind, which could be deadly, medical doctors informed media

Drugs hailed as game-changers within the remedy of Alzheimer’s illness, a sort of dementia, carry dangers which will outweigh any profit, scientists warned UK media on Sunday.

UK regulators are anticipated to resolve subsequent week on whether or not or to not approve the drug lecanemab, which was greenlit by US regulators final yr, and donanemab, which is presently awaiting approval. 

However, the drugs, which producers say sluggish cognitive decline by clearing out amyloid protein in sufferers’ grey matter, are additionally identified to shrink sufferers’ brains, and as many as a 3rd of those that obtain them additionally expertise unwanted effects categorised as “amyloid-related imaging abnormalities” (ARIA) – a catch-all time period that features the swelling and bleeding of the mind.


US regulator fast-tracks dementia drug

About 1% of sufferers have unwanted effects so extreme they’re deadly or require hospitalization, and the US Food and Drug Administration has required lecanemab’s producer Esai to incorporate a “black-box warning” on its label signaling the potential of severe adversarial occasions.

“When I look at an MRI scan that shows ARIA, it reminds me of looking at MRI scans of patients who’ve had strokes or some sort of traumatic brain injury,” University College of London Institute of Mental Health Professor Rob Howard informed reporters, including that imaging information exhibits sufferers receiving the drugs “are actually losing probably slightly more than a teaspoon full of brain.” According to Dr. Madhav Thambisetty, a senior scientific investigator on the US National Institute on Aging, sufferers receiving the most important dose have misplaced as much as three teaspoons of mind quantity. 

While the drugs’ producers hail their supposed potential to sluggish cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s sufferers by 27% (lecanemab) and 35% (donanemab) in comparison with a placebo, this translated to only a 0.45 level enchancment on the 18-point Alzheimer’s symptom evaluation scale – the place enhancements beneath one level are unlikely to be felt by both physician or affected person, in accordance with Thambisetty. Even the drugs’ personal publicity supplies acknowledge they can not restore reminiscence or cognitive operate that has been misplaced already.

Meanwhile, mind shrinkage is taken into account an indicator of Alzheimer’s itself, elevating questions concerning the utility of a “treatment” which will worsen the underlying pathology. Some sufferers with ARIA have skilled deteriorations in cognitive capacity 5 occasions that of an unmedicated Alzheimer’s affected person, in accordance with scientific trial information, and one lady within the Lecanemab trial died in hospital with a 7cm mind hemorrhage. 

The same drug additionally hailed as a miracle remedy for Alzheimer’s when it was permitted in 2021, aducanumab, is about to be discontinued by its producer this yr. A overview of the scientific information confirmed sufferers receiving the drug in excessive doses have been greater than 15 occasions as possible as these receiving a placebo to expertise mind swelling and nearly 3 times as prone to expertise mind bleeding.

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