Three promising drugs for treating Alzheimer’s disease bring fresh hope


In the brains of people living with Alzheimer’s disease, a protein called amyloid builds up into plaques. These plaques are thought to be toxic and damage the cells of the brain.

Researchers have gone on to develop drugs which can clear amyloid from the brain. These drugs are called immunotherapies. They target the amyloid plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease to try and help break them down.

Immunotherapies are already used in medicine, for example in the treatment of some cancers.

Researchers believe that by clearing amyloid plaques from the brain they will be able to slow down how quickly Alzheimer’s disease gets worse.

Donanemab, aducanumab and lecanemab are three new drugs that work in this way and have shown promise as treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.


It is an incredibly exciting and hopeful time for dementia research, with both lecanemab and donanemab proving that Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed by targeting amyloid.

These trials will teach us a great deal about the benefits of removing amyloid protein from the brain using immunotherapies.

For any drug to become available in the UK, it must be approved by the MHRA. The MHRA scrutinise the clinical trial data of every drug and uses this data to determine whether the drug is safe and effective as a treatment.



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