Alzheimer’s drug may help those in the first stage of dementia

More from this show

A new medication could be a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, but there are concerns about its effectiveness and its high price. Tonight we look at this new Alzheimer’s treatment as part of our monthly AARP sponsored segment that highlights issues important to older adults in Arizona. Kinsey McManus, with the Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter, talked to us about this new Alzheimer’s drug.

“Aduhelm is the first medication of its kind in Alzheimer’s, dementia treatment. It is the first medication to be released that treats one of the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease–which is a buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain. So, the medication itself is actually what we think is going to slow the cognitive decline for people who are in the first stage of Alzheimer’s disease or experiencing mild cognitive impairment, as a result of Alzheimer’s disease,” McManus said.

Some people are concerned this drug won’t work but McManus noted that during the drug testing period, “the trial did show that for people with a mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s, or that first stage of Alzheimer’s dementia, that it can make a difference.”

This drug is promising but McManus wants us, “… to be really open about the reality that this is something for early in the disease course that we know of now. Now they may do research later, you know, for people in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, but right now for what we know it’s something for early in the disease course.”

Right now the price of this drug is $56,000 a year and McManus hopes it will become more accessible to those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

“It is so critical that we get the price down to something that is reasonable for the broad community this really all communities need access to be able to take this medication if they’re indicated that they would benefit from it,” McManus said.

Kinsey McManus, Program Director, Alzheimer's Association, Desert Southwest Chapter

Sir David Attenborough, Wiltshire, UK, explains how Water Crowfoot, Ranunculus aquitilis, has floppy underwater stems that flex with the current.
airs July 6

The Green Planet

Sebastian Robins and Mona Haydar
aired July 5

The Great Muslim American Road Trip

Baratunde sitting criss-cross in the desert
aired July 5

America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston

Security forces block the entrance after the U.S. President Donald Trump's supporters breached the US Capitol security in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to sign off Wednesday on President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory in what was supposed to be a routine process headed to Inauguration Day. Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
aired June 28

WATCH LIVE: Arizona PBS coverage of Jan. 6 Capitol riot hearings

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: