Aducanumab. It is the latest in a long line of drugs making news in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. But never before has a drug looked quite so promising as an effective treatment. 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 San Francisco Memory and Aging Center at the University of California.
Present Alzheimer’s treatment options have limited and short-term effects, but aducanumab appears to end further memory loss, which presents an extraordinary amount of hope – and may be available to patients in just five years. The aim will be to assist those who are known to be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s before the start of symptoms.
Even as we celebrate this research, there are, certainly, disadvantages to note. In those who received the highest dose of the drug in the first phase of testing, brain bleeding and swelling were noted. The next trials will include a larger amount of participants, for a longer amount of time, and careful evaluation of risks vs. advantages.
Currently impacting as many as 5.3 million Americans, and projected to increase to an estimated 16 million by the year 2050, the effect of Alzheimer’s disease is catastrophic. One in three seniors dies with some form of dementia, and at this point it’s the only cause of death within the top ten in the United States without a cure or way to prevent it.
If that weren’t troubling enough, the financial burden is harmful to our nation: $236 billion in 2016 alone, with half of that cost attributed to Medicare – which is expected to grow to an amazing $1.1 trillion by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
At Midnight Sun Home Care, it’s our desire to see the day when the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease become a memory. Meanwhile, we’re ready with customized dementia care, provided by trained care assistants who bring a better quality of life and wellbeing to seniors diagnosed 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, Midnight Sun Home Care of Anchorage, Alaska can help.
Contact us at 907-677-7890 for assistance and resources, or to allow us to talk with you more about how we can assist you and your loved one throughout the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.