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FDA Authorizes New Drug for Early Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease


A controversy has accompanied the whole route to approval and now beyond, but today the FDA authorized use of a new drug, Aduhelm, for early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Here is what the LA Alzheimer’s President & CEO, Heather Cooper Ortner, to say about it:

“Today, the FDA approved the first Alzheimer’s disease modifying drug Aducanumab (known as Aduhelm), which is designed to slow the progression of problems early in the disease. It is the first new Alzheimer’s drug in over 20 years and the first to address the disease process rather than addressing symptoms.

While this is certainly hopeful news, like all medications it might not be appropriate for everyone, and we encourage families of people with early-stage Alzheimer’s or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to talk with their physicians to see if it is right for them.

There has been some controversy surrounding the potential efficacy of this drug as well as some known side effects, and the FDA has conditionally approved it pending further study. Families and physicians should be aware that this is only for those patients in the earliest stages of the disease and that must be proved by PET scan, which makes this drug unavailable to many people at this time. Every patient and family’s situation is different and this is a complicated decision. We encourage everyone to consult with their personal physician.

Alzheimer’s Los Angeles welcomes this news and looks forward to further investment in additional treatments to improve life for people living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and their families.”

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