First dose of new Alzheimer’s drug administered by Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders

Patient is 68-year-old woman from West Bloomfield

The first dose of a new FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease was administered by the Michigan Institute of Neurological Disorders (MIND) on Wednesday.
The first dose of a new FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease was administered by the Michigan Institute of Neurological Disorders (MIND) on Wednesday. (Michigan Institute of Neurological Disorders)

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The first dose of a new FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease was administered by the Michigan Institute of Neurological Disorders (MIND) on Wednesday.

MIND is the first in the country to administer Biogen’s Aduhelm (generic name of aducanumab). It’s the first-ever disease modifying therapy for mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease.

Read: Why Alzheimer’s disease is expected to remain a growing health issue in the U.S.

The patient IV began at 10:45 a.m. and the drug was administered at 10:46 a.m. The patient is a 68-year-old woman from West Bloomfield with early Alzheimer’s disease. She 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.”

Read: By the numbers: Alzheimer’s disease in Michigan

Aduhelm is the 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’s the first new treatment approved for Alzheimer’s since 2003, according to MIND.

“While this drug is not a cure, it’s certainly a step in the right direction and offers hope for patients,” Dr. Jonathan Fellows, neurologist and co-director of MIND’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Center, said. “If we can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our patients may be able to benefit from future treatments as they become available.”

The drug is a lab-made antibody that targets small and large clumps of the protein amyloid beta. Research indicates the treatment works by slowing disease progression by removing amyloid beta proteins from the brain.

MIND’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Center was launched in 2020. According to MIND, the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease and it’s estimated that 190,000 older than 65 have the disease in Michigan.

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.