Bioethicist, Dr. Tia Powell, explains how caregivers can bring their own biases when supporting their loved ones with dementia, which can make the decision-making process more complicated. The real breakthrough for dementia: smashing the stigma
If a family member develops Alzheimer’s, you’re pretty much on your own — no one wants to talk about it. Changing that would improve people’s lives sooner than any drug will.
An image from photographer Joe Wallace’s "Portraits of Dementia" project to capture the humanity of people living with the condition. The subjects of Wallace’s photographs have ranged in age from 29 to 100. Find more images and details at portraitsofdementia.com.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce whether it is approving aducanumab, a new drug that is supposed to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. The decision is going to be controversial either way. Many neurologists say that the evidence for the drug is too flimsy; in fact, 10 of the 11 independent experts asked to review it said there wasn’t enough proof it worked. Meanwhile, patient advocacy groups have pressed the FDA to OK it. Their point: We essentially have nothing else.
It’s true. Even though we keep hearing that a breakthrough for Alzheimer’s is right around the corner, it’s been 17 years since a new drug came on the market. Pharmaceutical companies have invested billions looking for that miracle medicine, ending in a string of disappointments. According to one analysis, 87 Alzheimer’s drug research programs have shut down since 2008. The few drugs available now only temporarily ease the symptoms.