It is estimated that someone in America will develop Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds. As many as 500,000 new cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to be diagnosed this year.
With no known cure, the Food & Drug Administration is anticipated to make a historic decision Monday, June 7 on whether to approve the first-ever treatment for mild cognitive decline and early-stage dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.
The drug called Aducanumab is said to work by binding to the plaques between neurons and causing an immune response that removes them.
“That plaque is what is believed to gum up the brain in people who have the disease, so the long-held ‘amyloid theory’ suggests that if the plaque can be cleared away, cognition could improve, or at the very least, decline more slowly,” explained Manisha Parulekar, M.D., director, Division of Geriatrics, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center.
“Regardless of the FDA’s final decision, this is an important moment as we have never before been this close to approval of a medication for Alzheimer’s that could change the progression of the disease, not just the symptoms,” says Dr. Gary Small, chair of Psychiatry at Hackensack Meridian Health.
Both Dr. Parulekar and Dr. Small can be available for comment. I can also get you in touch with the family of an Alzheimer's patient who is happy to share their story.
Mary McGeever, PR Manager, Hackensack University Medical Center