Could an Alzheimer’s drug finally be on the horizon? Possibly ― if the FDA agrees with data from several Biogen clinical trials ― but approval is still far from a sure bet.
The company, on July 9, submitted its biologics license application (BLA) for aducanumab, an investigational treatment for the disease. The submission includes clinical data from Phase 3 EMERGE and ENGAGE studies, as well as the Phase 1B PRIME study. Biogen has requested an accelerated review, potentially putting the medication on a path for a final decision by March 2021. However, data from these Phase 3 trials are not without controversy in the scientific community.
“Aducanumab, a so-called monoclonal antibody designed to target amyloid plaque in the brain, has been one of the most closely watched drugs in development for several years,” according to Bloomberg News. Continue reading
How do you wrap your arms around a topic as big as dementia to create a five-part series that’s cohesive, coherent, and focuses on what matters to your audience? That was the challenge for AHCJ member Katherine Foley, health and science reporter for Quartz.
In this new How I Did It piece, Foley explains how she developed ideas for a weekly series for the publication’s paid subscribers. She relied on her prior reporting about neurodegenerative diseases (a strong area of interest for her), to sketch out a concept. Since Quartz is a business publication, it wasn’t hard to determine that costs and data had to play an important role in the series. Continue reading
Can your eyes predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) years before cognitive symptoms appear? Findings in a recent study may hold promise for such early detection, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.
AD starts altering and damaging the brain years — even decades — before symptoms appear, making early identification of risk paramount to slowing its progression. Continue reading
Are you familiar with the concept of memory cafes? If not you should learn more, because there’s likely one in or near your community.
They’re a growing trend worldwide as more families and communities seek accepting environments for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJBrent P. Forester
While scientists are getting closer to understanding the various causes and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, there’s still no cure.
However, that doesn’t mean life is hopeless for millions of people who have the disease, or their families. There’s a lot we can do improve their quality of life, according to panelists at a Health Journalism 2019 session on Alzheimer’s. Continue reading
Photo : Kelsey Kremer, Des Moines RegisterLinnea and Gailen Clausen share a moment outside the central Iowa nursing home where he lives, three hours away from their northwest Iowa home. Other nursing homes rejected Gailen Clausen, 55, because his early onset dementia caused confusion and anxiety, which sometimes led him to be aggressive toward staff.
Nursing homes are supposed to be places that care for ill, frail adults — many of whom also suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The disease takes a terrible toll on those who have it, whether it’s forgetting who their loved ones are, forgetting how to eat or use the toilet, or sliding into a state of agitation and violence. That’s the time when more nursing homes are saying “enough.”
And, as Tony Leys writes in this article for the Des Moines Register last fall, they’re kicking them out, sometimes even if there’s nowhere else for them to go. Continue reading