Eli Lilly Alzheimer's Drug Slows Cognitive Decline, Trial Shows

Eli Lilly Alzheimer's Drug Slows Cognitive Decline, Trial Shows
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The Facts

  • Drugmaker Eli Lilly's experimental Alzheimer's drug donanemab significantly slowed cognitive and functional decline for people with the early stages of the disease, according to data published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

  • Patients who were given donanemab saw their decline slow by 35% compared to a placebo group; subjects were assessed on their ability to complete daily activities, such as driving, managing finances, and discussing current events.

The Spin

Narrative A

This trial is a game-changer. Just months ago there were no treatments for Alzheimer's, now two new drugs may soon be available to help slow cognitive decline. When approved, donanemab will help Alzheimer's patients remain independent — there is a good reason for this trial to inspire hope.

Narrative B

This trial should not be met with too enthusiastic a reception. The minimal benefits of donanemab are outweighed by its risks and its difficulty to administer, not to mention that it is predicted to cost far too much to be genuinely accessible. Additionally, any patient on the drug must devote time and expense to frequent brain scans, due to its potentially lethal side effects of brain swells and bleeds. There's still a long way to go for research into Alzheimer's treatments.

Metaculus Prediction

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