Alzheimer Drug News….
For years and years, we have been reading about promising new drugs that will prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s.Yet after tens of billions of dollars spent by drug companies, the two best drugs that they have come up with are Aricept and Namenda. And, if you are caregiver, you probably discovered for yourself that the difference these medications make are at best mildly effective in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s, if not completely imperceptible. Yet caregivers spend hundreds of dollars on these drugs every year because families will grasp at most anything that has even an outside chance of helping our loved one.
However, the greater disappointment is that these drug companies have squandered decades and billions of dollars trying to hit a home run: a cure for Alzheimer’s, and almost zero effort trying to find a medication that will help families cope with the heartbreaking symptoms that make caregiving such an exhausting and debilitating process, until now.
A biotechnology company called Elan from Ireland has developed a promising new drug for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s patients which targets the Agitation and Aggression that accompanies over 60% of Alzheimer’s patients. “ELND005” has show such promising results in Phase 2 trials that the FDA has put it on the Approval Fast Track, which is rarely given and then only to medications that show great promise.
Family care providers have long awaited a medication that can help ease the anxiety caused by wandering, sun-downing and paranoia that leads to violent aggression and extreme agitation. Because at this stage of the game, a home run prevention medication might help the next guy, but for the current 15 million unpaid caregivers a cure is too late, they desperately need help providing care so they can continue to provide care at home and avoid institutionalization.
However, there is a silver lining to the long wait for FDA drug approval, because there is a way for caregivers to get access to this medication now.
Drug trials require volunteers, and as Elan is getting the fast track approval, they will need participants for their final Phase 3 trials. Why not you and your loved one? Participating in a drug trial is fairly simple, the best way is to locate a center near you and give them a phone call. They are very professional and if you meet the criteria, they will provide full medical examinations, supportive services, and even financial compensation for your time during the study. Many major Universities as well as private institutes throughout the Country are participating in the Elan Study. For example, PRI (Pharmacology Research Institute) in Southern California has 3 locations, has a long history of pioneering Alzheimer’s research trials, and have tremendous experience and sensitivity caring for families and patients. But no matter where you are in the Country, you can go to clinicaltrials.gov for a database of publically and privately supported clinical studies around the world.Here is a link to Practical Tips to Handling Challenging Behaviors