As Alzheimer’s Medication Debate Escalates, Dementia Patients Are Torn

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : March 7, 2022

Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists, is caused by a mix of hereditary, behavioral, and environmental factors that damage the brain over time. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by specific genetic abnormalities that nearly guarantee a person will acquire the condition less than 1% of the time.

As Alzheimer’s Medication Debate Escalates, Dementia Patients Are Torn

A new drug named Aduhelm (also termed as aducanumab) was invented to cure Alzheimer’s disease, but doctors advise patients to consume the drugs in a limited way. The people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s have something else in mind.

As Alzheimer's Medication Debate Escalates, Dementia Patients Are Torn

The community has a long list of thoughts regarding this drug. Some people think that this drug should be covered; some people believe that there should be further research. Some people are concerned about the effectiveness of this drug.

The Alzheimer’s Association and USAgainstAlzheimer’s are two organizations that work to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. They think that there should be further research and experiments on Aduhel.

Both organizations are pushing to cover this drug and limit it to clinical trial patients only.

The scientists are yet to prove the success rate of the Aduhelm drugs; they have not given any evidence or observations about this drug. Scientists are yet to ascertain the drug’s consumption. 

The Alzheimer’s Association advisory group stated that they do not have any further time to waste and that they need to control the spread of this as it may lead to the death of patients. Every passing day brings the patient closer to the end if left untreated.

The FDA approved the drug manufacturer and asked the researchers to prove the benefit of the drug as soon as possible.

Over 40% of the patients who took this medication suffered from either bleeding in the brain or swelling in the brain. So many other organizations are putting stress on further research into the drug’s good and bad effects and why this drug is affecting the brain.

Among these is the Dementia Action Alliance, which assists people living with dementia. Daa firmly supports CMS’s decision to limit access to aducanumab to persons engaged in qualified clinical studies to better research aducanumab’s effectiveness and side effects, said CEO Karen Love in a statement.

The controversy over Medicare’s decision on the Aduhelm drug is critical because most people with Alzheimer’s are elderly or severely disabled, and the government is covering their medical bills and other expenses.

Here are some interviews with people who have this disease.

Jay Reinstein is 60 years old who is married and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago, at an early stage. He referred to drug consumption as a risk. He also stated that he is willing to take this risk as he does not have any other option instead of trying out his drug.

He said that many people he met suffering from this disease had recovered quickly, and that is why he wants to take this drug, even if it guarantees just 10% of the recovery. He wants more time to live, even if it extends his life by just six months.

Jim Taylor, of New York City and Sherman, Connecticut, cares for his wife, Geri Taylor, 78, who has moderate Alzheimer’s disease. She volunteered for the test of the aduhelm drug during her clinical trial three months ago. Since then, she started taking the medication, and there has been a visible improvement in her memory loss and other skills.

She further stated that she is willingly taking part in the research because the drug is effective for her and to some other people too and may prove fatal to others. The decision to try the drug should be left to the patient and his family. 

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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