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Scientists examine a brain scan in a hospital
Scientists have made a breakthrough in seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s
(Image credit: Brian B. Bettencourt/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

For the first time in medical history, scientists have found a drug that has been proven to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.

The breakthrough, which has been some years in the making, came after a phase-three clinical trial found that lecanemab slowed memory decline by 27% over 18 months when administered as a fortnightly intravenous drip. A cure for the most common form of dementia could be one step closer as a result.

In other scientific news this week, a research group has revived a dormant virus that had been preserved in Siberian permafrost for almost 50,000 years.

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The team at the French National Centre for Scientific Research characterised 13 new pathogens, which they referred to as “zombie viruses”. The scientists found these ancient viruses were potentially still infectious.

Scientists are concerned that as global warming thaws the permafrost, which has preserved such viruses for thousands of years, they could pose a potential threat to human health in the future. Find out more on today’s episode of The Week Unwrapped podcast.

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Julia O'Driscoll is the engagement editor. She covers UK and world news, as well as writing lifestyle and travel features. She regularly appears on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast, and hosted The Week's short-form documentary podcast, “The Overview”. Julia was previously the content and social media editor at sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, where she interviewed prominent voices in sustainable fashion and climate movements. She has a master's in liberal arts from Bristol University, and spent a year studying at Charles University in Prague.