Although amyloid proteins have always been suspected to play a significant role in Alzheimer’s disease, this study is only the second to find a concrete connection between reduced amyloid buildups and improved cognitive function. It suggests that targeting these proteins may be a good way to combat the disease in future trials.

Amyloid proteins were reduced by as much as 93% in some trial participants, making 81% of participants in the successful group what researchers call “amyloid negative.” Although this doesn’t mean these patients were cured, it’s a big deal. Additionally, the team compared the cognitive decline of this group to those who received the placebo using multiple metrics. They found that participants taking the highest dose of BAN2401 performed 30% better on a new cognition test called ADCOMS than those taking the placebo. ADCOMS is not the typical scale used to assess cognitive decline, but has been shown to be more sensitive (paywall) to changes in cognitive ability. When the group used a more common, longer-standing scale, participants in the highest dosage group performed 47% better than the placebo.