CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Alzheimer’s disease affects over 5 million people nationwide.
On Monday the Food and Drug Administration approved a first of its kind treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.
It’s the first drug to be approved to help treat the disease in nearly 20 years.
“A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s truly does change everything not only for the individual but also for their family members. Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects the brain. It affects the brain by forming plaques and tangles. Those plaques and tangles that occur on the brain impede the ability to not only remember information but also to process and use information,” says Amy French, Alzheimer’s Association.
The FDA granted approval to Biogen, the makers of the drug, based on results that were likely to benefit Alzheimer’s patients.
The drug Aduhelm is administered intravenously every four weeks.
“This drug goes after the fundamental underlying disease process. Its a monoclonal antibody as an infusion that really targets those hallmark amyloid plaques in the brain of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease with the hopes of clearing or removing those plaque lesions,” says Dr. Tara Narula, CBS News Senior Medical Contributor.
Though the drug is only intended to slow the progression and is not a cure, a local caregiver whose husband died of Alzheimer’s says it’s still a step in the right direction.
“If we have something that will help then let’s go for it. There is no cure. We know there is no cure. We know it’s a steady decline but if we can lower the slope, stretch it out it makes life easier and more liveable,” says Jeanne Sudduth, Husband Died of Alzheimer’s.
For more information about this new treatment, click here.