MICHIGAN INSTITUTE FOR NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS FIRST IN THE COUNTRY TO ADMINISTER NEW FDA-APPROVED ALZHEIMER’S DRUG
Farmington Hills, Mich. – The first dose of the new FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease took place Wednesday morning, marking a pivotal turn in the fight against the disease.
The Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders (MIND) announced it was the very first in the country to administer Biogen’s Aduhelm (generic name of aducanumab), the first-ever disease modifying therapy for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)/early Alzheimer’s disease. The patient IV began at 10:45 a.m. and drug administration commenced at 10:46 a.m.
The patient, a 68-year-old woman from West Bloomfield, Michigan with MCI/early Alzheimer’s disease, said the drug gives her hope.
“While I feel like I’m functioning just fine now, my prognosis tells me that I can expect changes in the future,” she said. “I do know that I want to be able to preserve myself, my cognitive abilities, as long as possible and if I can help others by being one of the first to experience this new treatment option, I’m excited to do so for the greater good. It’s a glimmer of hope for me and others.”
Her husband added, “I’m so proud of her. She’s a pioneer and lighting the way for other patients with MCI and Alzheimer’s who may be considering this as an option on their journey with the disease. We have faith that with this treatment, the onset of symptoms will be delayed.”
“While this drug is not a cure, it’s certainly a step in the right direction and offers hope for patients,” said Dr. Jonathan Fellows, neurologist and co-director of MIND’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Center. “If we can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our patients may be able to benefit from future treatments as they become available.”
Aduhelm represents a first-of-its-kind treatment approved for Alzheimer’s disease and is also the first therapy that targets the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease.
It is also the first new treatment approved for Alzheimer’s since 2003.
The drug, which is administered intravenously, is a lab-made antibody that targets small and large clumps of the sticky protein amyloid beta. Research indicates the treatment works by slowing disease progression by removing amyloid beta proteins from the brain–a telltale feature of Alzheimer’s disease.
Aduhelm was approved using the accelerated approval pathway, which is typically used when a drug for a serious or life-threatening illness is found to have a meaningful therapeutic advantage over existing treatments.
MIND’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Center was launched in 2020 with the goal to promote the clinical diagnosis, treatment, and education into memory disorders. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. In Michigan, it is estimated that over 190,000 people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease.
Unfortunately, memory and other cognitive disorders bring hard challenges for patients and their loved ones. The center’s health care team, led by Directors Drs. Jonathan Fellows and Daniel Singer, is dedicated to helping patients and families manage those challenges.
MIND is the area’s leading provider of comprehensive neurological care for the full range of injuries and disorders of the brain, spine and nervous system. With state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge resources on site, MIND is a one-stop shop for the diagnosis, treatment and management of neurological disorders. MIND provides individualized care to help improve symptoms as well as in assisting with emotional and lifestyle needs. For more information, please visit MINDonline.com.