Solanezumab, a once-promising Alzheimer’s drug, hit a snag when tests showed it didn’t slow the progression of the disease as much as originally thought. However, researchers looked at combined results of a pair of different studies and found that in patients with mild forms of the disease, it may work better than earlier research indicated, The New York Times reports.
The new findings were presented at a recent American Neurological Association conference in Boston and are encouraging for doctors, though experts suggest they may not be enough to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Specifically, the results showed a two-point improvement on a 90-point scale that measured things like memory and language.
“It’s certainly not the home run we all wanted, but we’re very encouraged by these results,” Maria C. Carrillo, senior director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association, told the Times.
The drug is used to clear deposits of certain proteins in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and while approval may still be in the future, the results highlight the importance of prevention and management of the condition in senior care. There are approximately 5.4 million American’s with Alzheimer’s, and the condition is the sixth leading cause of death.