There are few medical conditions that frighten patients as much as Alzheimer’s disease. While many people have a deep-seated fear of physical disability, cognitive disability and the loss of memory, autonomy or your sense of self can also be a chilling prospect.
Especially for those with early-onset Alzheimer’s, the impact of the disease on their golden years and health is something that neither older adults nor their family members can ignore. Those diagnosed with this condition or who have family members who have it may need financial support and more careful estate planning measures than the average person.
Although Alzheimer’s is a condition that worsens over time and that does not currently have a cure, there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon for those recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
A recently-approved medication shows promise but has proved controversial
For the first time in almost 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, branded as Aduhelm by the company Biogen also goes by the generic name aducanumab. The approval is tentative and requires another study to validate the drug’s efficacy.
Two early studies seem to return conflicting results, and there is medical uncertainty about whether the drug slows Alzheimer’s disease or merely helps with the removal of amyloid plaque. Patients who receive the IV medication will need careful monitoring for side effects, like brain swelling.
However, if the drug shows results after its approval, it could eventually become the first line of defense against Alzheimer’s disease. It will give thousands of people the possibility of slowing the progression of their condition and improving their quality of life.
Alzheimer’s disease, even with treatment, is a debilitating condition
The tentative approval of Aduhelm is certainly a step in the right direction. Still, even if a patient responds well to the medication, they can expect that Alzheimer’s will affect their overall health and independent living ability.
The life-altering effects of Alzheimer’s disease mean that the condition not only qualifies people for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits but may also help them connect with a compassionate allowance while they await in-depth review of their request.
Knowing treatment and support options for serious conditions can help you better navigate your future after a diagnosis.