Alzheimer’s is one of the most prevalent diseases amongst the older generation. While a reasonable cause of Alzheimer’s is yet to be found, a substantial amount of research has found the amyloid beta to be responsible for the disease. The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is crucial in the repair and growth process of neurons. However, as the years go by, the APP is broken down into numerous amino acids, also forming amyloid beta.
Amyloid plaques are formed when these amyloid beta are misfolded and aggregate in the gray matter of the brain. As a result, cognitive and memory skills are hindered, indicating the first signs of Alzheimer’s.
The extensive research and experiments on the subject have finally led to the formulation of Aduhelm. Here’s the honest Aduhelm review you must read before getting the drug.
What Is Aduhelm?
Aducanumab, commonly known as Aduhelm, is a monoclonal antibody drug that triggers microglia cells of the brain to destroy the clumps of amyloid beta. The drug isn’t associated with the reversal of Alzheimer’s, nor can it stop the progression of the disease. Aduhelm is responsible for fighting the amyloid beta molecules that may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Who Qualifies to Use This Medication?
Aduhelm isn’t designed for stopping or curing Alzheimer’s. Therefore, only the patients with the symptoms of mild dementia (memory loss) and mild cognitive impairment qualify for the distribution of Aduhelm. The patient must also have an amyloid plaque in the brain to be eligible for the medication. Apart from that, the patient must not have other diseases or disorders that could hinder the effects of the treatment.
Who Is Aduhelm Designed for?
Alzheimer’s disease is categorized into three stages: early, middle and late. Each stage shows different symptoms and severity levels of these symptoms. Aduhelm’s clinical trial only had patients with early Alzheimer’s. Hence, early-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s patients qualify for the drug.
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Aduhelm Review: Pros and Cons
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) prompt approval of the drug has raised eyebrows around the globe. Many people are skeptical about the medicine and its performance. Here is the Aduhelm review based on the experience and observation reported during the clinical trials of the drug.
Pros of Aduhelm
- Aduhelm effectively triggers the microglia cells to degenerate the amyloid plaque or amyloid beta compounds as it targets the aggregate in the brain’s gray matter.
- The breakdown of these compounds has shown a significant slow down in the decline of patients’ cognitive abilities.
- Aduhelm effectively slows down the memory loss process and reduces the repeated questioning that’s a common symptom in patients of Alzheimer’s.
- Aduhelm has succeeded in slowing down the behavioral and personality shifts and changes among patients with Alzheimer’s.
Cons of Aduhelm
During the clinical trials, several Aduhelm side effects of the drugs were reported:
- 8-9% of clinical trial patients experienced delirium, diarrhea, vision changes, and disorientation.
- 15% of patients had experienced falling.
- Swelling of the face, lips, and tongue was also a common allergic reaction observed during the clinical trials.
- The most concerning of Aduhelm’s side effects was the painful brain swelling reported by 35% of the participants. Some 20% reported experiencing severe headaches due to the swelling, whereas many also had small spots of bleeding as a result. The bleeding was confirmed by the MRIs.
According to Biogen, these Aduhelm side effects are relatively short-term, and patients have recovered from their conditions in a matter of days.
These side effects have also been reported after the trials, but the claim of them being short-term holds true. However, if the side effects don’t wear off in a matter of days, it is advised to consult a doctor immediately.
Aduhelm and Medicare
Aduhelm is an expensive treatment, with an initial Aduhelm price as high as $56,000 per annum. However, the manufacturers of the drug, Biogen, announced in late 2021 that the cost of Aduhelm would be reduced to half, making the new Aduhelm price $28,000 annually.
The reduced costs were still not affordable for the majority of patients, and people have been seeking Medicare to cover the expenses.
Does Medicare Pay for Aduhelm?
In the spring of 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the coverage of Aduhelm under Medicare if a patient is involved in CMS-approved studies and clinical trials. The approval will be based on showing evidence of the disease and participation in the trial. Apart from that, Medicare will also cover any additional costs for related drugs and tests (such as PET scans).
How Much Cost of Aduhelm Will the Medicare Cover?
Though the cost of Aduhelm will be entirely covered by Medicare, the coverage has been limited to people eligible for research studies and clinical trials. The drug’s coverage is under Medicare Part B, which funds outpatient drugs, i.e., drugs requiring a medical professional’s supervision.
Will the Medicare Advantage Plan Cover the Cost of This Medication?
For patients with Medicare Advantage Plan, the out-of-pocket costs could be up to 20%. However, these costs can vary depending upon the fluctuations in the plan and the market prices.
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Future Benefits Regarding Aduhelm
Biogen’s reports on the successive phases of clinical trials may result in an increase in the number of patients that qualify for these trials. The trials are also providing concrete evidence regarding the long-term benefits of Aduhelm. If the drug becomes successful in impeding the growth of Alzheimer’s in terms of cognitive impairment and dementia, the prevalent disease could be slowed down. People could live a healthier life for a longer time.
The research on the formulation of Aduhelm has proved to be beneficial so far. As the clinical trials are going on, Biogen is optimistic the drug will be able to cater to more patients with Alzheimer’s. We may also see a better Aduhelm review if the performance improves. However, if the drug’s success makes it available to more patients, Medicare will have to increase its funding to help out as many patients as possible.
Aduhelm is neither inhibitory nor curative in nature. The drug is only responsible for slowing down the growth of Alzheimer’s and related symptoms. Research on the true causes of Alzheimer’s is still going on. Hence, the cure for Alzheimer’s is still a long way from home.
We Are Here To Help
At Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care we are here to help. We want families to make the best decision for their situation
Furthermore, the staff at Sycamore Creek Ranch is proactive. That means we are not waiting for a problem to arise. Instead, we are actively engaged with each and every resident. And with only 16 residents we can do that!
If you are looking for Memory Care in The Woodlands or Memory Care in Spring, Texas come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help.