U.S. authorities for the first time in nearly 20 years approved a new drug for people with Alzheimer’s disease. According to ABC News, the drug, developed by Biogen, will go on sale under the commercial name Aduhelm.
It is noted that the development of the drug has been accompanied by controversy about its effectiveness. Also, according to some experts,
benefits of the drug are unlikely to outweigh the risk of serious side effects. At the same time, the decision of the authorities is of great importance for people with Alzheimer’s, since this is the first drug aimed at slowing down the development of the disease. Aduhelm destroys amyloid, a protein that forms plaques in the human brain that damage cells and cause problems with memory, thinking, and communication. According to the manufacturer, the drug, combined with lifestyle changes, can help patients who are diagnosed with the disease in its early stages.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, different perspectives were taken into account in deciding whether to approve it. The FDA also ordered Biogen to conduct an additional large-scale clinical trial and reserved the right to withdraw approval in the future. All the while, Alzheimer’s patients will have access to the new drug.
Earlier, scientists in Sweden developed a simple and reliable method to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages. The new approach involves a blood test and three cognitive tests, which take only 10 minutes to complete. The new method is 90 percent accurate. According to scientists, it should help treat patients more effectively.