Potential breakthroughs on horizon for Alzheimer’s and dementia

MIAMI, Fla. – Two clinical trials are showing promise for a drug, known as a biological agent, that could actually change the course of the Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“The sweet spot for using a biological agent is at the very mildest stages, so this would hasten people to get early diagnosis at that mild cognitive impairment stage or the early Alzheimer’s stage. You get first diagnosed and then initiate treatments because the medications are much more likely to be effective, and the clinical trial supports that we target and engage people at the very early stages,” said Dr. James Galvin with University of Miami Health System.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the biologic medication developed by Biogen a priority review with the potential for approval early next year.

On the heels of that promising news comes word that baby boomers are facing greater cognitive decline than previous generations, reversing a recent trend. A study from Penn State University found that people born between 1948 and 1959, which is considered early and middle baby boomers, achieved lower scores in cognitive tests than people born in previous years.

While the study did not include “late bloomers,” those born between 1960 and 1964, researchers expect they will also have lower scores.

The study author said subsequent generations may follow the same path unless researchers can resolve the issues behind the decline.

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