Alzheimer's drugs don't work.

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A study being released today shows that 99.6% of drugs developed to Alzheimers don't work. An analysis of drugs developed between 2002-2012 showed that only one drug showed effectiveness, and 244 failed. The analysis of the studies was done at the Lou Ruvo Brain Center, part of the Cleveland Clinic. While researchers keep working on pharmaceutical treatments the lead author, Dr Jeffrey Cummings, stressed that it is important for people to make lifestyle changes and receive treatment for chronic diseases like diabetes.


If by "work" they mean cure dementia, then I would imagine 100% of the drugs don't "work." If they mean (as one study in England meant) people who take the drug and people who don't take it wind up in the nursing home in about the same length of time, then probably most don't "work." I would be more interested in a study comparing quality of life for patient and caregiver while patient is still at home. Do the drugs do anything to improve that? I'm going to look up this study and learn more about it.

Also, one drug developed for Alzheimer's is far more effective for patients with Lewy Body.

Thanks for bringing this up -- though it is not exactly good news, is it?
Well I'm not surprised, because the Lou Ruvo building itself is a failure.
The article is in today's journal, Alzheimers Research and Therapy. I like the scary building in downtown Las Vegas. Inside it's quite nice, it's the outside that catches your breath. The services there are really excellent. They work on AD, MS, Parkinsons, other dementias, the boxing, football and other sports brain injuries and just generally di a lot of good. Lots of free services there, and I have used several of them.
Ah. Now I have read the article. It is not about the 5 drugs that have been approved for treatment of Alzheimer's. Rather it is about the research being done to develop new treatment drugs. The authors examine a database of all research underway in the US in the last 10 years and come to this conclusion:

"Most drugs entering the AD drug-development pipeline have failed; only one agent has been approved since 2004 (memantine). The failure rate since 2002 (excluding agents currently in Phase 3) is 99.6%"

This quantifies what we already know: developing drugs for dementia is very, very tough. Most trials fail and never make it to market.

In the authors' opinion there is not enough research being done considering the magnitude of the problem.

This is quite different than saying current drugs don't work. This article does not include any consideration of currently approved drugs at all.
Do they slow the progression down though?

Example; Mom has been on the Excelon patch for 5 years. Without this patch would she have progressed a lot faster?

The ones that weren't working were the couple hundred in clinical trials, not the ones being used now.
i think us carers know that "DEMENTIA" meds do not work but make it worse but the docs insist they do why is it we cannot say no thank to theses drugs if we have given them a try but not working I also think they do not slow it down
Daisy, I don't think any of us can say that existing drugs make it worse. We do not know how one person is on and off a particular medication because others are many times substitued while trying to find the miracle combination that will improve an imdividual's quality of life. Each person is different just as the manifestation of Alzheimer's is different in each person.
The drugs my husband was on definitely improved his quality of life, and they continued working for years. This was confirmed when we tried him without the drugs while he was on hospice.

Did they slow the disease down or increase his life span? I'd have no way to judge that.

daisychains, I am sorry for your negative experiences. And if you've tried a drug and it isn't helping you should certainly be able to discontinue it.

I'll repeat that this study was not saying that approved drugs don't work. It was only focused on the drugs being researched.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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