December 6, 2016
In the hunt for an effective Alzheimer’s drug, we’re always excited to share the latest developments, but never has research appeared quite as promising as the latest drug: aducanumab. In the initial medical tests, researchers witnessed a substantial reduction in amyloid plaque in the patients’ brains, and even greater, “This is the first antibody tested where the people who had the greatest removal of amyloid from their brains also saw the greatest stabilization of their clinical decline,” according to Dr. Adam Boxer of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco.
While current Alzheimer’s treatment options offer only limited or short-term effects, aducanumab ceases further memory loss, providing a remarkable level of hope – and additionally may be available to patients in as few as five years. The aim will be to assist those who are known to be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s before the start of symptoms.
Even though we are excited about these developments, there are possible negatives to address. In those who received the highest dose of the drug in the first phase of testing, brain bleeding and swelling were noted. The next trials will include a larger amount of participants, for a longer amount of time, and careful evaluation of risks vs. gains.
Currently having an impact on as many as 5.3 million Americans, and proposed to increase to an estimated 16 million by the year 2050, the consequences of Alzheimer’s disease are devastating. One in three seniors dies with some type of dementia, and at this juncture it’s the only cause of death within the top ten in our country without effective prevention or a cure.
And if that weren’t concerning enough, the financial burden is staggering to our nation: $236 billion in 2016 alone, with half of that cost attributed to Medicare – slated to grow to a whopping $1.1 trillion by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
At Continuum, we would like nothing better than to report when the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease are a memory. In the meantime, we’re here with specialized dementia care in St. Louis, MO and the surrounding area, provided by trained experts who bring enhanced quality of life and well-being to seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Whether help with care is needed, such as transportation and errand-running, bathing and dressing, light housework and laundry services, or just a kind, patient companion to encourage the senior to perform to the greatest of his or her ability, Continuum can assist.
Contact us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 for more caregiving advice and resources, or to allow us to share more about how we can travel this journey with you and your loved one throughout the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.