A trial of a second potential treatment targeting beta amyloid, Elan’s ELND005, will continue with only a low dose group of patients. Serious side effects, including deaths, in two higher dose groups led the company to make this decision.
These setbacks will probably lead to more discussion about whether treatments meant to prevent or reduce the buildup of beta amyloid are likely to be effective. But the larger question is whether it’s realistic to expect any single treatment to cure such a complex and varied disorder. If not, we need to focus more on finding ways to live with memory loss while research continues.