CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, the FDA is limiting the drug use, stating it should only be used for people in early stages and not used for all patients.
Last month, the FDA approved the drug Aduhelm. At first it was said the drug was approved for Alzheimer’s disease in general, but it’s only for patients with mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s, and it hasn’t been studied on patients with advanced stages.
“The group in the clinical trial that showed benefits were people with mild cognitive impairment or early stage Alzheimer’s. It specifically addresses plaque in the brain which is something indicative of Alzheimer’s disease and not all dementia,” Sharon Covert, Executive Director of the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association said.
Covert says she’s happy there’s a drug to help some people, but it starts with people accepting they have a problem.
“The most important thing that I see is people wanting the diagnosis because possibly it could be something that they could use and benefit from before people didn’t want the diagnosis because there wasn’t anything they could do about it,” Covert said.
According to CBS News, this change comes with the intent to clarify patients studied in the trial led to the approval of the drug.
“Hopefully, to continue to study it and see benefits specifically who’s benefiting from it and it may lead to other breakthroughs,” Covert said.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers free services for those who think they have the disease or want more information. It also has a 24/7 hotline you can call at 800-272-3900.