Pioneering Alzheimer’s drug Donanemab heralds a new dawn in dementia treatment

By Our Reporter
Representational Photo by Steven HWG on Unsplash

Dementia Australia has heartily welcomed the published results of a trial which reveals that a novel drug, Donanemab, can decelerate the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

The drug, pioneered by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, functions by generating antibodies which cling onto and eradicate amyloid plaques from the brain.

Expressing her excitement over the development, Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM said, “These results bring much-needed hope for individuals who are exhibiting symptoms, suffering from mild cognitive impairment or who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Dementia ranks as the second leading cause of death for Australians, and tops the list for Australian women. Therefore, any strides towards improving the lives of individuals living with dementia, alongside their families and carers, are warmly received,” she added.

The research underscored the importance of early diagnosis, enabling sufferers to gain access to necessary treatment and support at the earliest opportunity.

“We are endeavouring to amplify the awareness and understanding of dementia in a bid to curtail discrimination and stigma. It’s crucial that those with worries about their cognitive abilities seek information and support promptly,” Ms McCabe highlighted.

Donanemab is currently awaiting approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in Australia. Potential side effects necessitate careful monitoring by medical professionals.

Further endorsing the promising results, Professor Blossom Stephan, Chair of Dementia at Curtin University and Dementia Australia, said, “The trial revealed that for participants with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia, donanemab decelerated cognitive decline by as much as 35 per cent which is extremely promising.”

Bill Yeates, Dementia Advocate for Dementia Australia and diagnosed with younger-onset-dementia in 2019, described the findings as exceptional. “This verifies the possibility of significantly slowing cognitive decline via the removal of amyloid beta (plaques) from the brain,” Mr Yeates said.

These ground-breaking results were published today in a leading international journal and shared at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam.

Dementia Australia is the go-to source for trusted information, education, and services for the estimated 400,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.5 million people involved in their care. Advocating for positive change and supporting vital research, it is there for everyone impacted by dementia, enabling them to live as well as possible.

For support, individuals are encouraged to contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. For more information, please visit

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