Alzheimer’s disease, one of the common causes of dementia, occurs due to the death of brain cells. Dementia, a term for the loss of memory, often affects the patient’s ability to think and remember basic day-to day stuff. Thus, it makes it difficult for patients to function independently.
Alzheimer’s treatments that physicians usually recommend for patients are only symptomatic. These treatments can only improve memory loss and other symptoms temporarily. But the good news is that researchers have recently introduced an experimental drug, Aduhelm, that is likely to slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients who are at the early stage.
In this article, we are going to discuss this new treatment and drug for Alzheimer’s disease and how it works. But before we discuss this topic, here is what you should know about this disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease and the New Treatment: The Basics
Alzheimer’s dementia is a common medical condition in older people. Patients who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have some symptoms like forgetfulness and memory loss. According to researchers, amyloid β plaque buildups in the brain is one of the common causes of the clinical symptoms for Alzheimer’s patients. So, quite naturally, the deposition of these plaques and resisting the plaque formation in the brain helps in blocking the progression of this disease. The new FDA-approved medicine, Aduhelm (Aducanumab), is shown to reduce these plaques, and this is how; it can provide more clinical benefits over the existing treatments.
More about the New Treatment: How Does the Drug Work?
As we have already mentioned, the accumulation of amyloid β plaques in the brain is responsible for Alzheimer’s clinical symptoms. The FDA approved new drug, aducanumab (Brand name – Aduhelm), targets and removes amyloid β plaques from the brain of patients.
In the three clinical trials, this new drug, also known as a monoclonal antibody, convincingly reduces the amyloid plaque levels in the brain. Thus, researchers expect that it will result in blocking the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. This new treatment is clinically more beneficial than the existing symptomatic treatments since it helps in slowing the deterioration of the patient’s brain function. Hence, the approval of this new drug is quite significant.
How Effective Is This New Treatment?
The Aduhelm drug went through 2 phase clinical trials before it won FDA approval. During the first trial, researchers found it helpful in reducing the clinical decline. Also, it met the basic endpoint. Although it failed to meet the primary endpoint during the second trial, this drug effectively reduced amyloid plaque levels in all trials. FDA approved it because of the substantial evidence. The evidence showed it clinically beneficial. FDA’s approval is important. Because it will allow physicians to use this new treatment to help patients combat Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Aduhelm is the first novel drug for Alzheimer’s disease that won FDA approval after 2003. This new treatment is really useful and urgent when higher than 6 million people in the US have been living with Alzheimer’s symptoms currently.
Alzheimer’s disease is indeed a complex condition, and it is fatal. Patients who are diagnosed with this disease lose their memory over time. They find it difficult to hold a conversation and also to perform day-to-day work. On average, patients usually live five to eight years after they are diagnosed. This new drug or new treatment, which is still under monitoring, surely raises hope for Alzheimer’s patients since it is likely to slow the progression of this disease.