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Aducanumab, a New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

Sindy He

Alzheimer's Disease: A progressive mental disorder that disrupts memory and other essential functions.

Beta-amyloid: The amyloid beta peptide is a 36-43 amino acid peptide that is largely responsible for the plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI): It is a phase between the expected decline in memory and thinking caused by aging and the more severe decline caused by dementia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, Alzheimer's disease also known as Senile dementia is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that begins with mild memory loss and eventually leads to the inability to talk and respond to the surrounding environments. Throughout the world, it is the most commonly diagnosed form of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association provides further information in its article "Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures" in which is estimated that more than 5 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and one person develops dementia every three seconds.

Even more, research indicates a decreased aging for Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. Recently, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, a well-known journal in China, claiming to have found a 19-year-old teenage male have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The paper came out like a stone cast into a lake stirring up a thousand waves online. "Youth dementia" has entered the social discussiondue to the increasing prevalence of young people forgetting things.

We now understand how important it is, so let's take a look at some scientific information we should be aware of.

Alzheimer's disease affects the brain in complex ways that require years of professional study, but reading this article gives you a good idea of how it works. Changes in the brain often begin before symptoms appear. It is possible to see detrimental changes in the brain already at this very early stage of Alzheimer's disease. Beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles are building up in the brain, neuronal connections are disrupted, and neutrons lose their functionality.

As neurons die, other parts of the brain shrink and become affected, causing Alzheimer's to become terminal. This damage appears to occur first in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, which are the parts of the brain responsible for memory. When Alzheimer's disease reaches its final stages, the damage has spread and brain tissue shrinks considerably. As the patient's body stops functioning, the patient may be bedridden most of the time or even all day, leading to death.

How is Alzheimer's disease treated?

There is no existing medication that alters the underlying disease process in Alzheimer's disease because humanbrains are complex. Currently, treatment focuses on maintaining the mental function, treating the inflammation underpinning the disease,and managing behavioral symptoms. Several possible interventionsare being developed and tested in multiple clinics. As part of the research, therapies are being evaluated as well as non-drug approaches including physical activity, diet, cognitive training, and combinations thereof.

Medicine Breakthrough

Although some of the medications can help reduce symptoms and alleviate certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs do not alter the underlying disease process. They work for some, but not all, people and may only be effective for a limited time. And Aducanumab (AduhelmTMM) plays an important role when it comes to this situation. Aducanumab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) using the accelerated approval pathway. This process aims to approve drugs for a serious or life-threatening condition that offers a meaningful therapeutic regimens advantage overcurrent treatments (ie BioNTech, Pfizer vaccine). It was also the first therapy shown to effectively slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing the beta-amyloid plaques from the patients' brains, reducing the cognitive and functional decline in patients with early Alzheimer's disease. Aducanumab takes effect by targeting and removing specific forms of beta-amyloid that accumulate into plaques, thereby decreasing the possibility of cell death and loss of the brain tissues in the memory area. Although the brain will continue making beta-amyloid, Aducanumab reduces the amount simultaneously.

Prevention tips

Research suggests that a variety of factors other than genetics play a role in the onset and course of Alzheimer's disease. Ongoing research will help us understand if and how making some changes in your daily life can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Here are some tips you and your family members can practice to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

1. Eat a balanced diet

To prevent Alzheimer's disease, it is important to eat a balanced diet and control the intake of salt and animal fats. Salt intake should not exceed 10 grams a day, and animal fats and sugar should be kept to a minimum.

2. Moderate Exercise

Consistent exercise can also prevent Alzheimer's disease. Exercise can improve our immune system. Movement of the hands is also critical. You can do easy finger dance to help energize the brain.

3. Find medical consultation

If the cause of the disease is clear, you should see a physician as soon as possible to avoid further harms. Although growing old and developing Alzheimer's disease do not equate, growing old is often not just about one person, but is closely related to the whole family. Aging is not just a test of self-awareness and how to plan our lives, but also a serious test for the family. This requires us to prepare for it as early as possible and to look at it from the perspective of both the individual and the family. We hope that we can pay more attention to the physical and mental state of our parents and put their aging into our life planning. Along with paying attention to the details of life, it is also important to take your loved ones for regular medical checkups.

- References -

  1. "Alzheimer's Disease." Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Sept. 2022,

  2. "Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures." Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

  3. "Benefits of Music Therapy for Elderly Suffering from Memory Loss or Alzheimers: Natural Ways to Protect the Brain." Advanced Brain Technologies, 28 Oct. 2022

  4. "Aducanumab Approved for Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease." Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

  5. Prillaman, McKenzie. "Heralded Alzheimer's Drug Works, but Safety Concerns Loom." Scientific American, Scientific American, 1Dec. 2022

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