November 3, 2021 – November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month
Globally, about 50 million individuals are living with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other debilitating dementias. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as the world’s seventh leading cause of death. Alzheimer’s is the most common source of dementia accounting for 60-80% of cases.
In 1906, a German physician named Alois Alzheimer first discovered the “peculiar disease,” which causes overwhelming memory loss and irreversible changes in the brain. While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown, many scientists believe that for the majority of people, it’s caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that over time affect the brain and, how the brain’s cells operate. It’s the destruction and termination of nerve cells that eventually cause memory defeat, changes in personality, difficulties carrying out daily activities, and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. It is currently at the forefront of biomedical research, and as of June 7, 2021, the FDA announced its approval of Biogen’s drug Aducanumab (Aduhelm), making it the first disease-modifying drug to be approved in nearly 20 years. Aduhelm was created to help treat patients in the very early stages of the disease. Its primary role is to break down and remove the beta-amyloid protein build-up, which is said to help slow down the disease’s progression. Aduhelm is administered by an hour-long intravenous infusion, every four weeks for an indefinite period of time. On June 22, 2021, Memorial Healthcare was the first hospital to complete an infusion treatment within its neighboring regions.
If you or someone you know are experiencing dementia-like symptoms, please contact your primary care provider as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and intervention methods are dramatically improving. With the help of treatment and adequate sources of support, a loved one’s or your quality of life can improve.
This month of November, please join us in raising awareness and showing support for those facing this disease.
MEMORY DISORDERS CLINIC
With the help of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience operates a multidisciplinary memory disorders clinic to help support patients and their families in our community. This clinic is designed to offer the latest in information, treatments and supports for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Dr. Cara Leahy is a Neurologist and Director of the Cognitive Disorders Clinic at the Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience. Dr. Leahy is a leader in developing this multidisciplinary approach for Alzheimer’s disease. She, along with her team of clinical pharmacists, nurses and home health professionals, meet with each patient and their families during the memory clinic appointment. Their goal is to provide care and treatment that extends beyond the medicines and to improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. If you or someone you know may benefit from this dedicated approach to patient care, please contact your primary care provider. To learn more about Dr. Leahy and the Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience, please click here.