Eli Lilly Alzheimer’s drug could slow effects of disease, bringing hope to 100,000 Hoosiers

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INDIANAPOLIS (July 22, 2015) --  An Alzheimer’s drug made by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company appears to slow the disease’s progress, bringing researchers closer than ever to helping slow the disease’s effects.

Researchers presented the much-anticipated findings Wednesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington D.C.

“I think the reaction has been quite good,” Dr. Eric Siemers said in an interview with CBS4 from Washington, a distinguished medical fellow at Eli Lilly.

Lilly’s experimental drug solanezumab, the study concluded, could slow the rate of Alzheimer’s Disease, in its early stages, by a third.

“I would call it very promising,” Siemers said. “And I think for patients and their families and their caregivers, this should give people some hope.”

In 2012 the drug didn’t work during a broad clinical trial, but Lilly researchers narrowed its focus to patients in only the early stages of the disease.

“If a medication can slow the actual progression of the disease, then that will be huge,” Kristi Ritchie said, the family and communication education specialist at the Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Ritchie, like many, are cautiously optimistic.

The drug is currently in a third-phase trial to confirm the results, which is expected to be complete in October 2016.

“So it’s not going to be available for people right now,” she said. “But it is a step in the right direction.”

The caveat is the drug doesn’t reverse the effects or stop the disease. Yet researchers now have data to back a theory they’ve long believed.

“When you have multiple different studies point in the same direction, I think that should give people hope that we really are getting close to understanding what causes Alzheimer’s disease and how we can slow its proression,” Siemers aid.

For questions about Alzheimer’s Disease, you can call the Alzheimer’s Association helpline at (800) 272-3900.

For more information on education programs in Central Indiana click here:
Alzheimer's Association - Communication and Behaviors Programs

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