Millions of Americans are diagnosed and live with Alzheimer’s. Woodbridge, Connecticut, Alzheimer’s caregivers try to help seniors who have the incurable disease. However, the Biogen laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently developed an experimental drug that could mean hope for both seniors and their caregivers.
How Alzheimer’s Begins
Although amyloid plaque formation in the brain is considered a normal consequence of aging, chemical compounds and the body’s immune system monitor and regularly remove the proteins. However, in the case of people with Alzheimer’s, the cleanup process goes ary, which allows the continued formation and accumulation of the substances. The plaques clump together and interfere with neuron communication and alignment. Eventually, the brain cells die. The formulation known as aducanumab is a man-made antibody that enables the brain’s housekeeping process to resume.
The drug was originally tested on laboratory mice. Scientists witnessed as imaging studies revealed that after receiving continued doses of the medication, amyloid plaques began disappearing. Next, the researchers performed a human trial involving 165 participants. All were diagnosed as being in the early stage of Alzheimer’s or currently required dementia at-home care. Scientists divided volunteers into groups, which included a control group who received a placebo. Each senior received varying doses of aducanumab or the placebo monthly through intravenous infusion. The trial lasted one year.
During the course of the study, PET imaging scans revealed that the experimental drug was working. The compound attached to the plaques, which triggered the immune system to eliminate what it perceived as an invader. Over time, the number of plaques removed increased. The seniors receiving the drug also demonstrated fewer cognitive deficits compared to the individuals taking the placebo.
More Research Needed
Unfortunately, up to 40 participants quit the study because the plaque removal process led to fluid accumulation in the brain. If left to continue, or if not properly treated, the condition has been known to cause hemorrhaging. For this reason, studies are presently ongoing to determine the safest dosage with the fewest side effects.
In the meantime, families can turn to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s home care Woodbridge, Connecticut, seniors need to age in place with dignity. Our expertly trained dementia caregivers work around your loved one’s schedule to promote cognitive wellness by stimulating mental function. Call (203) 955-1915 today to learn more about our services and how they benefit seniors with Alzheimer’s.