In the last several years, it seems a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease pops up in the news every week, and we’re always happy to share the latest developments, but never before has a drug’s test results looked quite as encouraging as the latest: 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 San Francisco University of California.
Present treatment options have limited and short-term effects, but aducanumab ends further memory loss, which presents an extraordinary amount of hope for those with the disease, and also for those who provide Alzheimer’s care. The medication could 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 though we are excited about these developments, of course there are possible negatives to address. In the first tests, those who were given the largest amount of the drug experienced brain bleeding and swelling. The next trials will include a larger amount of participants, for a longer amount 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 form of dementia, and at this point it’s the only cause of death within the top ten in our country without a cure or prevention.
And if that weren’t concerning enough, the financial burden is staggering to our nation: $236 billion in 2016 alone, with half of that cost attributed to Medicare – slated to grow to a whopping $1.1 trillion by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
At CareWorks Health Services, we would like nothing better than to report when the struggles of Alzheimer’s disease are a memory. In the meantime, we’re here with specialized Alzheimer’s care, provided by trained experts who bring enhanced quality of life and wellbeing to seniors diagnosed with dementia. Whether help with care is needed, such as transportation and errand-running, bathing and dressing, light housework and laundry services, or just a kind, patient companion to encourage the senior to perform to the greatest of his or her ability, CareWorks Health Service can assist your senior loved one in the Laguna Hills, CA area.
Call us at (949) 859-4700 or contact us online 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.