Alzheimer's Treatment Shows Encouraging Results

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Biogen headquarters on Binney Street in Cambridge. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Biogen headquarters on Binney Street in Cambridge. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A new study by Biogen, published in the journal Nature Wednesday, has found the drug aducanumab could help slow memory loss in patients with early or mild Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults and 5 million Americans are affected by the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Slowing down the disease is the target of research across the country.

The study tracked 165 patients who were given monthly infusions of either the drug or the placebo. After over a year of treatment, amyloid beta protein — thought to be the primary cause of memory loss in patients — was significantly reduced in patients who received the drug, as opposed to those who did not.

An accompanying article to the paper said confirmation of these results could be "a game-changer."

We spoke to Biogen last July when the drug was first announced. Now, we'll follow-up to find out how far this drug has come.


Dr. Dennis Selkoe, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital, which tweets @BrighamWomens.

This segment aired on August 31, 2016.


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