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CultCrossPollination t1_iyc3cb1 wrote

"Researchers have hailed the dawn of a new era of Alzheimer’s therapies" That's really stretching it here, to say the least. Honestly this is an outright oversell, and these "researchers" are probably the minority. Many many Alzheimer's researchers are very sceptical about drugs removing ameloid buidlup because previous studies doing exactly that have resulted in very little improvement of patients. Again, here they also say a modest improvement in people with hereditary Alzheimer's. This study thus showing again that ameloid buildup is likely a symptom, causing mild damage, and not addressing the cause of the pathology. So to sell these antibody therapies in Alzheimer's as a new era is simply bogus.


scudobuio OP t1_iyc4mj7 wrote

I agree that the findings are sensationalized. IMO it shows how eager people are for any kind of advancement. I think the wider hope is that successfully targeting ameloid buildup at the least gives us more information about the underlying mechanics. It’s an increment, to be sure.


HurricaneHenry t1_iycm1fw wrote

I thought it was common knowledge in the medical community now that ameloid plaques were just a minor symptom-contributor for being at the scene of the crime, and not the driver of the disease. That's been my takeaway from listening to various prominent Alzheimer's researchers at least.


scudobuio OP t1_iycola8 wrote

I’d have to do some more research myself. It sounds like you have a more sophisticated understanding than I do.

Regardless, potential Alzheimer’s treatments have mostly been a cascade of failures, so I can see the optimism here. Even finding a drug that correlates with slower ameloid buildup is good news, because (to further your analogy) it might give detectives more evidence regarding the actual crime. For example, now researchers might be able to tease out variables in order to narrow down a causation, which could make it easier to identify more (and possibly more important) correlations. It’s just a small step, but the first in a long time that feels like the correct direction.


kintleko t1_iydwacg wrote

It is common knowledge that the amyloid hypothesis only holds water for about 1% of all Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Those folks inherit genetic susceptibility factors that cause higher amyloid production or slower amyloid clearance, and they develop AD earlier than sporadic cases. We still routinely use those amyloid-heavy genetic mouse models of Alzheimer's in the lab to test memory effects of different drugs or interventions, so there's still a heavy amyloid basis in research even though it may not apply to most AD cases.


Krizz-Toff t1_iycl8ni wrote

Can I ask a question to validate your reply. What expertise do you have on the subject? If medical to what level in regards to the subject matter?


CultCrossPollination t1_iydfst9 wrote

Sure you can ask, it's quite irrelevant to ask though. I'm personally involved in tumor immunology, the field where therapeutic antibodies 'come from'. But since I'm speaking in facts, and not as a matter of 'trust me I'm a professional', it's better to validate the facts I mention if they sound untrustworthy. The reason why I am aware of this scepticism is because there was a nice documentary on DW, if I remember correctly, and one on our national TV in the Netherlands and a long read in the science department of a very high quality news paper with input from experts. But since we're here now, I don't mind to piss on the pharmaceutical industry a bit more. These antibodies were truly a breakthrough in cancer treatment, completely opening up the immune system as a valid strategy to fight cancer. These companies try to sell the same "breakthrough" but for Alzheimer's. But is laughably pathetic the least and evil to patients/family of patients who get their hopes up. Stop trying to sell it as a wonderdrug with such mediocre results, it only hurts the trust scientists.


kintleko t1_iydwo8u wrote

Amyloid DOES build up and have deleterious effects in some genetically-based AD cases. It's not worthless research, but instead, it only applies to a select small percentage of AD cases who carry those particular gene variants.