AgeRight Blog

Dementia

Cautious Optimism for 1st New Alzheimer’s Drug in 18 Years

Disablity benefits alzheimer's

This week the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Along with others in the eldercare community, those of us at Senior Living Residences are cautiously optimistic about the potential profound impact this drug may have to boost the quality of lives for those with Alzheimer’s.

[The New York Times has a good overview of the new Alzheimer’s drug]

Perhaps more importantly, this week’s announcement is giving all of us HOPE that researchers may finally be on a path to a better understanding the disease so they can develop a range of medications to treat its underlying causes.

It’s been a long 18 years since the last Alzheimer’s medication was approved and available to the general public. We now look forward with anticipation to see how this new drug, Aducanumab (which will go by the brand name Aduhelm), performs as the FIRST approved treatment that attacks the disease process of Alzheimer’s instead of just addressing dementia symptoms.

Specialized Programs Offer Treatment & Care for those Living with Alzheimer’s

In the meantime, individuals with Alzheimer’s and the families should continue to seek out residential treatment programs available in assisted living communities by staff specially trained in dementia care, such as our Compass Memory Support Program. These programs work to treat the symptoms of dementia through a combination of specialized activity programming, exercise, socialization, personalized care, and diet (we offer a Brain Healthy Cooking Program based on the Mediterranean Diet which has been scientifically proven to boost brain health and cognitive function). Programs such as ours have been found to not only treat the symptoms of dementia, but researchers have concluded that they can potentially slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Families who are caring for a loved one with dementia at home need not despair if you cannot afford assisted living or the exhorbitant cost of this new drug. All of the programs I mentioned above can be implemented at home, such as musical programs, brisk walking, and a diet focused on the foods of the Mediterranean.

Here are a few articles to get you started:

[Want to boost your brain health & memory: take a brisk walk!]

[Research update on the Mediterranean’s Role in Alzheimer’s Prevention]

[Music offers powerful gifts for those living with dementia]

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