A huge breakthrough is happening in the clinical community, thanks to a large number of Rhode Island residents taking part in a study to develop a drug that will slow down the process of Alzheimer’s.

The investigational drug called aducanumab has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval, which would bring researchers one step closer to having a pawn in the battle against this unfortunate condition. For my grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s, this could be a game-changer.

According to the press release, Rhode Island contributed to the largest number of participants enrolled in the studies that led to the submission for approval, through study sites at the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital. If aducanumab gets approved, it would become the first therapy to reduce the clinical decline of Alzheimer’s.

Keep in mind, this drug is catered toward helping people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but could provide a significant step toward conquering the disease over the long run.

Stephen Salloway served as co-chair of the global investigator steering committee for the studies and explained “the submission of aducanumab for FDA approval represents a milestone in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and we are excited that so many Rhode Islanders contributed to making this happen.”

Maddie Levine / Townsquare Media

My grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s. Over the years, it has gone from bad to worse. She knows who I am but is shocked to learn that I’m not eight years old when she sees me. She forgets that she lives in Rhode Island and believes that she is still in the comfort of her home in Florida, when in fact she has been in a facility for quite some time.

It breaks my heart to watch my mother have to watch her own mother slowly lose all memories. To know that my grandmother doesn’t remember her children or can’t remember how to brush her teeth brings me to tears. Imagine if this could be prevented?

This is why a breakthrough like aducanumab is so vital. It could have drastically slowed down the effects of this disease, saving more years and quality of life. I can only hope that for anyone that has a loved one suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s that they will receive access to this drug and start the process of finding a cure for this heartbreaking condition.

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