Sussex mental health trust dementia experts involved in clinical trials for a drug that could slow the onset of Alzheimer’s have welcomed data released by manufacturers.
Dr Naji Tabet and Dr Andrew Risbridger, who are old age psychiatrists for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, have been at the centre of research looking in to the benefits of prolonged use of solanezumab in the treatment of the disease.
The Sussex Partnership Cognitive Treatment Research Unit has joined other units working with patients in the solanezumab drug trial for the last five years.
Data released yesterday (July 22) by the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, suggests it could reduce the speed at which the brain declines for those with early stage, or mild, Alzheimer’s.
A spokesperson for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “While there is no cure for the disease yet, and those drugs that are available simply work on the symptoms, solanezumab, if successful, would be the first immunotherapy – disease modifying – treatment to reach the market.
“More evidence from this research will be published next year but today’s announcement is the first sign that this drug could significantly improve the lives of thousands of people with very early stage Alzheimer’s.”
Dr Naji Tabet, who leads the research, said: “The announcement gives us hope that the work we have been doing for the last five years will have a hugely significant impact on the lives of so many people. We have a long way to go, but this further promotes the importance of clinical research, and why we want people across the country to get involved, make a difference and leave a legacy of optimism for future generations.
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides NHS mental health, specialist learning disability and substance misuse services across and beyond Sussex.
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