New Alzheimer’s Drug an Encouraging Breakthrough, Says Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville

April 08 10:26 2015
Researchers are making strides on a potential treatment to combat Alzheimer’s disease and Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville weighs in on what this could mean for the future.

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that has perplexed researchers for decades. Though they have gained a greater understanding of the disease and how it impacts the brain, they have yet to find an effective way to prevent or treat it. However, Biogen Idec, a biotechnology firm, has just released a study that shows positive results toward treating those with Alzheimer’s disease with a new drug. Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville has released a statement to the press regarding the study and what it could mean for seniors.

The new drug, BIIB037 or aducanumab, works by “clearing plaques of the protein amyloid from the brain,” according to a recent article in Forbes. It is believed that it is the buildup of amyloid plaques that impair cognitive function and result in Alzheimer’s disease. While there have been other companies that have attempted to make similar drugs, none thus far have seen the positive results Biogen has achieved.

“Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can put a lot of stress on families,” says Jim Smeaton, owner of Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville. “It is difficult for them to watch their loved one’s memory fade and confusion set in. It is also frustrating for their loved one as the disease progresses. Scientists have come up with many ideas on how to prevent it or slow the decline, but this study is the most encouraging one yet.”

The initial results are from a phase 1b trial, however, and only 166 patients were used. They were divided into several groups and each received a different dosage ranging from one milligram per kilogram of bodyweight to 10 mg/kg with one group receiving a placebo. As the dosage increased, more plaque was removed.

The article notes, “For one thing, the drug clearly helped remove amyloid plaque from patients’ brains. The study used Eli Lilly’s Amyvid, a drug that makes amyloid light up on positron emission tomography (PET) scans, to look at levels of the plaque in six regions of the brain. In the placebo, levels of plaque measured using PET scans were virtually unchanged.”

Because the study is only in phase one, larger trials are needed to further test its effectiveness. It will have to progress through phase three trials before it would be potentially approved for public use. There were some patients who experienced side effects with the medication so this needs to be further evaluated as well. Researchers are looking to identify exactly which patients could potentially benefit the most and what criteria they must meet. All of the patients in the study had biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “Biogen points out that this is the first drug ever to both reduce plaque and slow cognitive decline in patients with mild Alzheimer’s.”

“This is a very exciting time,” says Smeaton. “If the disease is caught early, this drug could potentially delay the progression or possibly even begin to reverse it. Removing amyloid plaque is a big step forward toward treatment. Patients may be able to live their lives with less impact from the disease and better cognitive function.”

Alzheimer’s disease can make it more difficult for patients to carry out daily tasks and they often require more assistance. For those who are struggling but want to continue living independently, Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville provides high quality dementia care through in-home care services. Patients receive the level of support they need to function more safely and independently so they can live their life to the fullest. To find out more about these valuable services, contact Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville at (828) 989-7263 or online.


Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville specializes in providing personalized, non-medical, in-home care to seniors in Western North Carolina. All caregivers have gone through a rigorous screening process to ensure safe and high quality care, and are bonded, insured, and background checked. Senior services include companionship in the home or to go out in the community; assistance with daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and medication management; as well as basic personal care such as eating, dressing, bathing, grooming, and mobility. Always Best Care recognizes the importance of supporting seniors in safely and comfortably aging in place and maintaining their independence.

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Company Name: Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville
Contact Person: Jim Smeaton
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Phone: (828) 989-7263
Country: United States