Although a cure does not exist for Alzheimer's, treatment options continue to improve as we learn more about this disease and the science behind it. 

Aducanumab

Aducanumab (under the brand name AduhelmTM), a monoclonal antibody from Biogen, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2021 as a therapy for Alzheimer's disease. In clinical trials, aducanumab was shown to reduce amyloid plaque in the brain. It is the first therapy that may delay decline in people living with Alzheimer’s. Aducanumab has been tested in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment--people with memory loss on cognitive testing but still able to function well in their daily activities--and those with early stage Alzheimer's disease.

Aducanumab was approved using the FDA's Accelerated Approval pathway. Its manufacturer, Biogen, is ramping up large-scale production for nationwide distribution. The FDA has also ordered Biogen to conduct another study related to the effectiveness of this drug.  

How It Works

Aducanumab targets the build up of amyloid plaques in a the brain, a defining feature of Alzheimer's. In clinical trials, the drug was shown to reduce amyloid in the brain by sending a signal to the body's immune system to clear the plaques. It remains unclear whether removal of the plaque will ultimately benefit the cognitive function of the patient.

Approval of this therapy reinforces the importance of early detection and diagnosis to ensure individuals receive the most benefit as soon as possible.


Frequently Asked Questions

Center for Healthy Aging

An outpatient department of Cabell Huntington Hospital
659 Central Avenue, Rear
Barboursville, WV 25504
Phone: 304-691-6878

Map & Directions


Center for Healthy Aging - Lincoln

An outpatient department of Cabell Huntington Hospital
Lincoln Primary Care Center
7400 Lynn Avenue
Hamlin, WV 25523
Phone: 304-824-5806

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Marshall Internal Medicine

An outpatient department of Cabell Huntington Hospital
Erma Ora Byrd Center
1249 15th Street
2nd & 3rd Floor
Huntington, WV 25701
Phone: 304-691-1000

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REFERENCES

ClinicalTrials.gov. 221AD301 Phase 3 Study of Aducanumab (BIIB037) in Early Alzheimer's Disease (ENGAGE). Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02477800?term=aducanumab&draw=2. Accessed February 1, 2020. 

ClinicalTrials.gov. 221AD302 Phase 3 Study of Aducanumab (BIIB037) in Early Alzheimer's Disease (EMERGE). Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02484547?term=aducanumab&draw=2. Accessed February 1, 2020. 

Albert MS, DeKosky ST, Dickson D, et al. The diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease: Recommendations from the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association workgroups on diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement 2011; 7(3):270-279. 

McKhann GM, Knopman DS, Chertkow H, et al. The diagnosis of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease: Recommendations from the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer's Association workgroups on diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement 2011; 7(3):263-269. 

LEARN MORE

If you or a loved one is experiencing new and progressive concerns with memory, language or behavior, the first best step is to consult with a doctor. Start with your primary care physician and consider requesting a referral to one of our geriatric specialists.