GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — It’s the news many families have been waiting to hear.
On Monday, the FDA approved a drug that could slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A Greensburg couple KDKA’s Amy Wadas spoke to said if anything, this announcement provides hope.READ MORE: Fireworks Supply Limited This Year Due To Lingering Issues From Coronavirus Pandemic
“I told Don I think my brain is going,” said Sara Belt.
That’s what Belt told her husband, Don, about six years ago.
“She was losing her ability to teach math,” said Don. “She eventually moved to a daycare center and they let her go because she couldn’t remember to lock the door. So she retired.”
In September 2018, Sara was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Since then, the disease has progressed. However, hearing about the FDA’s approval of Biogen’s drug, known as Aduhelm, gives the couple hope.READ MORE: Senator Bob Casey Says 'Better Care Better Jobs' Act Aims To Help Caregivers And Seniors
The drug would only work in patients with early-onset Alzheimer’s, so Sara wouldn’t be able to take it once it hits the market. However, the couple said it’s a move in the right direction.
“This is a good first step, and it shows the industry is making progress toward a final solution,” said Don.
It’s also a first step in giving families more time.
“If there’s a delay of disease, there’s more opportunity for sustainable independence and have more time for memories and have meaningful relationships,” said Sara Murphy with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Pennsylvania Chapter.
The FDA’s decision to approve this drug disregarded warnings from independent advisers who say the drug hasn’t shown to help slow down Alzheimer’s. Meantime, the FDA is now requiring Biogen to conduct a randomized, controlled clinical trial to verify the drug’s benefits.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Seasonable Temperatures To Start Before Hot Weekend
If the trial fails, the FDA may withdraw its approval of the drug.