CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — People living with Alzheimer’s now have a new medication available to them.
The FDA approved the drug earlier this week.
It is the first time the FDA has approved a new drug for the disease in 20 years.
“For people who are living with Alzheimer’s in the earlier stages of the disease, [this] gives them the chance to be with family a little longer, to plan for the future, and to live independently a little bit longer,” says Melanie Chavin with the Alzheimer’s association.
The drug is called aducanumab (Biogen/Eisai).
Chavin says existing medications suppress some symptoms, but don’t necessarily buy more time for people.
Aducanumab is different because it actually slows down the disease for people in the early stages.
“This drug changes the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s in the brain. It clears out amyloid proteins. There’s too much of it in the brains of people with dementia,” says Chavin.
She adds that this approval could lead to improved disease research and medications in the near future.
This breakthrough comes at the perfect time. June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.