The Cognitive Treatment and Research Unit at Crowborough Hospital is one of just a small handful of units who have been working with patients in the trial of a groundbreaking drug which could slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.
The team of dementia experts who work for Sussex Partnership Trust have welcomed data released by the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, which suggests it could reduce the speed at which the brain declines for those with early stage, or mild, Alzheimer’s.
More evidence from this research will be published next year but the 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, is cautiously excited by last week’s announcement and hopes it will encourage more people to come forward and be part of research more generally:
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.
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.
Dr Naji Tabet is Senior Lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry at the Brighton & Sussex Medical School and Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Download leaflet about the Clinical Research for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s.