The discovery of the first ever drug to slow down memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s has been hailed by scientists around the globe as a groundbreaking moment in the struggle to treat the disease.

The drug in question is Lecanemab, an antibody therapy which removes clumps of protein which build up in the brain. While no cure, a clinical trial on almost 18000 patients has confirmed that it slows down cognitive decline in patients with early stages of the disease. Developers of the drug are Biogen in the US and Eisai in Japan, who first announced the results of their clinical trials in September, and have just published the full data.

The news has attracted vast attention as Alzheimer’s affects 30 million people worldwide and accounts for nearly two-thirds of dementia cases. It is the leading cause of death in the UK and almost a million Brits suffer from this form of dementia.