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New Drug Could Mean Hope for People with Alzheimer’s

Statistics indicate that more than five million adults in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease. Thus far, medications created to treat the disorder merely delay symptoms for up to one year. The formulations also do not prove effective for all seniors affected by dementia. However, a recently developed experimental formulation known as aducanumab may provide hope for seniors and their Alzheimer’s caregivers in Albuquerque, NM

As people age, amyloid-beta plaques naturally form in the brain. However, certain chemical compounds normally act to reduce cumulative effects. For some reason, the housekeeping ceases and the plaques continue forming. The substances stick together and form clumps. In sufficient numbers, the proteins tangle neurons, disrupt neuron communication and destroy the cells. Aducanumab is an antibody designed to resume the housekeeping process by attaching to the plaques, which triggers microglia cells to enter the scene and remove debris. 

Researchers from the Cambridge, Massachusetts Biogen laboratory developed the drug. Initial tests performed on mice indicated that the drug successfully entered the brain and initiated the plaque removal process. The medication targeted various forms of the amyloid-beta plaques ranging from small oligomers to larger, formed clumps. 

Following animal study results, scientists recruited 165 human adults diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s. The group was divided into five smaller groups. One group received a placebo while the remaining four received varying doses of the drug. Researchers administered intravenous solutions every month to each participant. The trial continued for one year. 

Ongoing PET imaging scans revealed that as the study progressed, the brains of volunteers receiving the new drug displayed plaque reduction. Images also demonstrated that the larger the dose of medication received, the greater the results. Study participants also reportedly underwent cognitive testing to evaluate memory and thinking ability. Volunteers receiving the medication demonstrated reductions in cognitive failure compared to the individuals who got the placebo. 

Despite the encouraging results, neuroscientists believe that more data is necessary from larger and additional studies before the medication will see FDA approval. Currently, up to 40 study participants suffered fluid accumulation from the biological processes that occurred from plaque removal. The laboratory must determine the optimal dosage that causes the least amount of side effects. Should further testing prove successful, it could be good news for seniors and their live-in or hourly caregivers in Albuquerque.

Until further testing verifies the validity of this drug, seniors can turn to Home Care Assistance in Albuquerque, NM. We provide premier dementia and Alzheimer’s home care that enables local seniors to age in place with dignity while managing their progressive illnesses. Call 505-798-0800 today to learn how about our memory care and have a trusted Care Manager customize a care plan for your loved one.