In the hunt for an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, 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.
Unlike existing treatment options with limited and short-term effects, aducanumab’s halting of further memory loss offers an unprecedented level of hope – and may be available to patients in as early as five years. The goal will be to treat those who are known to be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s before the onset of symptoms.
Even though we are excited about these developments, of course there are possible negatives to address. In those who received the highest dose of the drug in the initial tests, there was brain bleeding and brain swelling. The next series of tests will include a larger number of participants, for a longer duration 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 moment it’s the only cause of death within the top ten in our country without effective prevention or a cure.
Additionally, the financial stress is staggering to our nation: $236 billion in 2016 alone, with half of that cost associated with Medicare – ready to grow to a whopping $1.1 trillion by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
At Home Sweet Home In-Home Care of St. Joseph, MI, it’s our desire to see the day when the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease become a memory, when an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is at our fingertips. But for now, we offer specialized dementia care, provided by trained professionals who bring increased quality of life and wellbeing to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Whether the need is for help with personal care such as bathing and dressing, light housework and laundry services, transportation and errand-running, or simply a kind, patient companion to engage the senior to the greatest of his or her ability, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care can help.
Contact us at 269-849-9252 for more resources and caregiving information, or so that we can travel with you and your loved one throughout the journey of Alzheimer’s disease.