I did actually start a spreadsheet of all the different clinical studies out there in the race to cure/prevent Alzheimer’s. In my first blog about dementia in late 2015, adu (nickname for aducanmab) was just starting to look very promising even in a small sized trial: http://waystostay.org/memory-in-the-moonlight/
Now there is news about set backs in the more advanced stage of this same study. This came out a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to dig down deeper into the science journals and look for more specific explanations. I have decided to report back by way of trying to write a fairy tale rendition. As with this insidious complex disease, the reach for a cure is complicated with details and jargon. I think you can follow my thick thread of hope for the future.
Once upon a time there was a scourge of lost memory that struck many of the oldest people in the land. It robbed them of their independent ways , their sweet memories and much more. So when the time came that many millions more older people would be affected by the scourge, it was decreed that the court magicians should find a way to fix it. Over 400 searches over many years and then the cause became clear. There was a thickness of sticky goo that encroached upon the brains of those afflicted. A few magic potions were brewed and tried to stop or slow the worsening. Finally someone had the idea to use some of the blood of those who were old, but did not have the signs of the scourge and make a new potion. They made a new potion with living counteractant of the scourge and they call it abracadbra.
They would give different amounts of the potion to the subject volunteers who showed signs of the scourge. About half way through the quest they found that yes it did dissolve the tar that stole the memory. The magicians knew they were going in the right direction to bring back function and memory… there were brain scans to prove it! But how much potion was too much? Now they have to solve a second problem of letting the defeated liquid goo escape the brains of those afflicted. So the magicians work found many more subject volunteers and are working to find a more exact way to use the potion to defeat the scourge. The end of the tale is still ahead of us.
The real world time line is that the next reporting of results are not due until 2018. The Phase 3 study has a total of 2700 subjects in it from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The Swiss lead the study for Biogen and it ends in early 2022. The above is my way of showing that we are getting closer. If you do not like fairy tales and want to read deep into some clinical nitty gritty , here you go: http://www.alzforum.org/therapeutics/aducanumab
So make a wish and we will see how this all turns out. Or maybe at minimum we do what we can to stay brain healthy through physical and mental exercise and diet. That way at least some of us can be further donors and not subjects.