December 16, 2019
After sixteen long years without having any truly viable treatment plans for Alzheimer’s, there’s some optimism on the horizon, in a stunning reversal on the formerly-rejected antibody therapy, aducanumab. The latest research shows that high doses of this medication do, in fact, reduce cognitive decline in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
As stated by Rebecca Edelmayer, director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association, “It could be a game-changer for the field. It could be one of the first disease-modifying therapies approved for Alzheimer’s disease.”
Biogen, the manufacturer of aducanumab, estimates substantial benefits for dementia patients in several areas: activities of day to day living, memory, language, and orientation. Biogen reported its intentions to pursue regulatory approval within the United States, with a longer-term goal of introducing the medication globally.
With an expected request for approval from the FDA as soon as early 2020, the medication is slated to possibly become the first treatment method to actually reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, it will certainly open doors to many other new Alzheimer’s treatment options that impact amyloid beta plaques, connecting with other trials that focus on the immune system, inflammation, blood vessels, and synaptic cell health. As searching for the most beneficial management of the disease is a complex endeavor, it’s probable that a mixture of these treatments will be essential, according to Edelmayer.
The next challenge? Convincing the FDA to approve the drug after previous failed trials. If approved, aducanumab will first be offered to individuals who had registered in earlier clinical trials, and hopefully, soon accessible to other individuals struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s as well.
When it comes to the nearly six million senior Americans battling Alzheimer’s (and that number is likely to more than double in the next three decades), and the family members who care for them, these latest findings may be life-changing, as there are presently only minimally successful symptom-management medications available.
Even as we look forward to a cure, we at Continuum are ready to help dementia patients through highly skilled, trained, and experienced caregivers who utilize creative therapeutic approaches that focus on each person’s distinct strengths and making sure each individual is living to the fullest.