Unfortunately, many people are all too familiar with the disease called Alzhiemer’s. For those who are not, Alzhiemer’s is a debilitating disease which can affect not only the patient but also their friends and family. The FDA explains Alzheimer’s as a progressive disorder affecting the brain that slowly impairs memory, thinking skills, and eventually the ability to perform tasks of daily living.
People with early Alzheimer’s may begin by forgetting small things, such as the name of an object, but later on in the disease they may be unable to recognize family members or even who/where they are. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of someone with Alzheimer’s disease will show buildup of amyloid plaques and tau proteins which result in disruption and damage to neural connections according to the FDA.
The good news is, there is a brand new drug approved by the FDA for treatment of Alzhiemer’s dementia called Aduhelm (Aducanumab). It is a type of monoclonal antibody, and while it cannot cure Alzheimer’s, it is designed to help slow down changes in the brain and thus, progression of the disease.
The FDA states Aduhelm was proven, through positron emission tomography (PET) scans, to reduce the amyloid beta plaques in patients taking the medication versus the control group. Possible side effects of the drug include: hypersensitivity reactions, headaches, falls, diarrhea, confusion, altered mental status, and amyloid related imaging abnormalities. Talk to your health care provider to see if Aduhelm is a good option for you or someone you know suffering from Alzhiemer’s disease.
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
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