There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but a monumental step forward in treatment was taken this year. Executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin Chapter David Grams told WTMJ N.O.W what makes this new drug different.
“The first-ever FDA-approved treatment that actually treats the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s,” Grams explained. “This is a moment decades in the making.”
The drug was fully approved by the FDA on July 6, 2023. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that same day that Medicare will cover the drug in situations where it also supports the collection of information to study the effectiveness of the new drugs.
Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and Grams emphasized that the traditional ways to watch out for the disease are still extremely important.
“Changes in memory, changes in thinking, or even behavior are all cases where if it’s disrupting daily life, we advise people to talk to their doctor about it,” Grams said.
Alzheimer’s is traditionally thought of as a disease that takes effect later in life. Grams said that’s not entirely the case.
“While it’s age-related, there are people who are diagnosed earlier and earlier,” he said. “We push hard to ensure that people talk to their doctor if they’re having memory concerns or seeing memory concerns in a loved one.”
No matter your age, there are some things everyone can do to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s developing and delay cognitive decline generally. Grams said that includes staying active both physically and socially, lifelong learning, and good nutrition.
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