Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most devastating diagnoses for both patients and their families due to the mental and emotional toll that the symptoms cause.
It is the most common type of dementia and is a progressive disease that begins with mild memory loss and can eventually lead to the loss of ability to carry on a conversation with others and respond to the surrounding environment. According to the CDC, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020, and the number of people living with this condition is expected to nearly triple to 14 million people by the year 2060.
Despite how common this disease is, scientists and researchers do not fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease to occur or how to cure it. When an individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, their brain physically shrinks in size and brain cells die. Scientific research has discovered that changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms begin to appear in an individual, and the number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65. Studies are being conducted to determine whether education, diet, and environment can play a role in developing or preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
This past year has been an incredible time for scientific advancements relating to this debilitating disease; a new investigational drug has demonstrated significant success in slowing the progression of mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s. The new investigational treatment, donanemab, that is not yet FDA-approved from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, targets build-ups of plaque and protein in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s. The TRAILBLAZER-ALZ Phase 2 clinical trial results indicated that this drug reduces the presence of these build-ups, slowing the cognitive decline in clinical trial participants with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
These results are incredibly promising in the world of clinical trials for researchers who work tirelessly to develop effective treatment and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s disease. This advancement is proof that clinical trials are crucial for the advancement of medicine, and patients and caregivers who participate in clinical trials can make a difference for millions of people around the world.
BTC of New Bedford is proud to be a part of the fight against this devastating illness that too many people suffer from. If you or a loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease, consider enrolling in a clinical trial with BTC of New Bedford. You may be eligible to receive treatment at no cost to you and contribute to the advancement of medical research for current and future generations.