What Kind of Treatments Are Being Developed for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Despite some disappointments, the pipeline isn't dry

alzheimers medicine being tested and developed

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — and eagerly awaiting new medications to treat it. While we sometimes hear that the Alzheimer’s drug development pipeline is dry, that’s not necessarily true, according to a new report.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

“I hear over and over, when I give talks around the country, there’s nothing going on, there’s no hope, there’s nothing, no progress being made, [but] I know that this is an $8 billion industry and there’s massive amounts of research going on to the tune of 75 drugs in clinical trials right now,” says Marwan Sabbagh, MD, author of the research and Director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

The report explores drugs currently in clinical trials for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including how far along they are in development and how they work.

Setbacks and incremental progress

Earlier this year, researchers experienced a major setback when a highly anticipated drug targeting amyloid, a type of protein linked to Alzheimer’s that accumulates in the brain, failed.


While amyloid-targeting drugs aren’t making as much progress as researchers had hoped, Dr. Sabbagh says there are new ideas and products moving forward.

For example, more individualized Alzheimer’s treatments based on certain genetic characteristics are emerging. And some scientists are looking at bacteria’s role in Alzheimer’s disease.

Meanwhile, a blood test to potentially detect Alzheimer’s risk is on the horizon as well.


While we may not have a cure for Alzheimer’s yet, Dr. Sabbagh says every discovery helps doctors better understand the disease and leads science in the right direction.

“We’re not going to hit the home run here — we’re going to hit base hits, and we’re just going to keep chipping away at this incremental progress,” he says. “That’s how we’re going to make this disease something we can manage better.”

Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

close up of caregiver's hands helping elderly person using a walker
January 2, 2024/Brain & Nervous System
Long-Term Care Options for Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s critical to understand the wishes of your loved one and seek their involvement whenever possible

female caregiver with hand on back of elderly woman in wheelchair
December 25, 2023/Brain & Nervous System
How to Care For Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease

Your loved one may need help with daily activities, managing nutritional challenges and adapting their living space

Sad thin elderly adult looking out window.
November 7, 2023/Brain & Nervous System
Alzheimer’s Disease and Weight Loss: Why It Happens and What Can Be Done

Finding the causes of weight loss is key to treatment

Young adult helping an elderly citizen cross a city street at night.
September 14, 2022/Brain & Nervous System
What To Do When Someone With Alzheimer’s Disease Wanders

Prevention and preparation can help you keep your loved one safe

elderly woman walk social circle alzheimers
February 6, 2022/Brain & Nervous System
9 Tips for Women To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women

man tired and yawning at work
November 22, 2021/Sleep
Why Sleep Apnea Can Cause Memory Problems Earlier in Life

This connection is yet another reason to seek help for OSA

An image of turmeric in capsules.
November 9, 2021/Nutrition
7 Health Benefits of Turmeric

The yellow-colored spice does more than add flavor to your meals

open peanut butter jar
December 14, 2020/Brain & Nervous System
How a Peanut Butter Test May Detect Alzheimer’s

Research on better diagnosis and treatment continues

Trending Topics

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

woman snacking on raisins and nuts
52 Foods High In Iron

Pump up your iron intake with foods like tuna, tofu and turkey