On June 7, the FDA approved Aducanumab (Aduhelm™) as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a debilitating disease that affects the lives of over 6.2 million Americans. Compared to medications that only address symptoms, Aduhelm is the first FDA-approved therapy to potentially delay cognitive decline from the disease, thus tremendously improving the lives and well-being of those who are suffering.
Here is what you need to know about Aduhelm:
How does it work?
Aduhelm is an amyloid beta-directed antibody, which means it removes amyloid plaques from the brain, thus delaying the decline in people living with Alzheimer’s.
Will Aducanumab restore lost memories or cognitive function?
There is no evidence that Aduhelm can restore lost memories or cognitive function, but it can help provide more time for people with Alzheimer’s to live independently and hold onto memories longer.
How is Aducanumab administered?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Aduhelm is administered intravenously (IV) via a 45- to 60-minute infusion every 4 weeks. Infusion can be done at hospitals or infusion therapy centers, and can even be administered at a person’s home by specialized nurses.”
What are the side effects?
The FDA includes a “warning for amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA), which most commonly presents as temporary swelling in areas of the brain that usually resolves over time and does not cause symptoms, though some people may experience headaches, confusion, dizziness, vision changes, or nausea.”
If you or a loved one are considering Aduhelm, talk to your doctor or health care provider to learn if this is right for you.