New Drug slows Alzheimer’s Cognitive Decline

Researchers have unveiled the structure of a unique amyloid beta protein associated with Alzheimer’s (AD) progression. This protein forms small aggregates that disrupt brain function. Importantly, the study found that lecanemab, a recently FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatment, can neutralize these disruptive aggregates, hinting at its potential to slow down the disease’s cognitive decline.
Researchers have detailed the structure of a distinct type of amyloid beta plaque protein that plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease progression. These proteins form small, diffusible aggregates that can disrupt neuronal function across various regions of the brainLecanemab, an antibody therapy recently approved by the FDA for Alzheimer’s treatment, has been found to neutralize these small, diffusible amyloid beta protein aggregates. This suggests it may play a significant role in slowing cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. The study also provided a clearer definition of the ‘protofibril’ or ‘oligomer’ structures that lecanemab binds to, potentially offering valuable insights into the drug’s mechanism of action against Alzheimer’s disease.

For the first time, researchers described the structure of a special type of amyloid beta plaque protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression.

In a report published May 10 in the journal Neuron, scientists showed the small aggregates of the amyloid beta protein could float through the brain tissue fluid, reaching many brain regions and disrupting local neuron functioning.  The research also provided evidence that a newly approved AD treatment could neutralize these small, diffusible aggregates. As a cause of dementia, AD affects more than 50 million people worldwide. Previous research has discovered that AD patients have abnormal build-up of a naturally occurring substanceamyloid beta protein—in the brain that can disrupt neurotransmission.

Currently, there is no cure for the disease. But in recent years, scientists have developed new treatments that can reduce AD symptoms such as memory loss.