GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania (KDKA) – This is the news many families have been waiting for.
On Monday the FDA approved a drug that could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Amy Wadas from KDKA in Greensburg said, if anything, this announcement gives hope.
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“I told Don that I thought my brain was breaking,” said Sara Belt.
Belt told her husband Don that about six years ago.
“She lost her ability to teach math,” Don said. “She eventually moved to a daycare center and they let her go because she couldn’t remember to lock the door. So she retired. ”
In September 2018, Sara was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Since then the disease has progressed. However, news of the FDA approving Biogen’s drug known as Aduhelm gives the couple hope.
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The drug would only work in patients with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, so Sara would not be able to take it once it hits the market. However, the couple said it was a step in the right direction.
“This is a good first step and shows that the industry is making progress towards a definitive solution,” said Don.
It’s also a first step in giving families more time.
“As the disease delays, there are more opportunities for sustained independence and more time for memories and meaningful relationships,” said Sara Murphy of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of Alzheimer’s Association.
The FDA’s decision to approve this drug disregarded warnings from independent advisors who say the drug didn’t help slow Alzheimer’s disease. Meanwhile, the FDA is asking Biogen to conduct a randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the drug’s benefits.
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If the study fails, the FDA can withdraw approval of the drug.