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Alzheimer's in Kern: a new drug is being tested that could bring hope.

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jun 18, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif (KERO) — The FDA is currently in the process of approving a new drug, that will slow down the affects of Alzheimer's Disease by 18 months. So far its only effective for people in the early ages of the disease.

  • June is Alzheimer's Disease and Brain Awareness Month
  • The new drug's name is Donanemab, not currently available in stores still under review.
  • This disease affects over 700,000 families in California alone.

    BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

In California alone over 700,000 people are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. I’m Eric J. Dockery your Bakersfield neighborhood reporter. The FDA is currently working on a drug that is known to slow down the disease.
Alzheimer isn’t a one shoe fits all type of disease. Patients can experience different things like lost verbalization, mood swings, memory lost, or simple signs of confusion. This disease doesn’t have a set age either. The youngest they’ve seen it would be 30 years old.

Tamara Baker the Executive Director at the ADAKC says "It’s very uncommon, its typically seen you know with older citizens. But, we have definitely seen some people in early as there 40s, and 50s. So, it affects everyone its just something for people to really be cognition aware of especially if they know it runs it there family. It's something to very much be aware of as well.

The FDA is working on a drug called Donanemab. This drug is currently going under trials and is not fully approved to hit stores. They say its effective with patients who are in the early stages of the disease.

"Well it helps individuals who have early on stages, and what it does is it slows the progression in the disease. We notice over an 18 month period, with individuals taking the drug. During the clinical trial had a greater progression slowed down, during that period of time than someone who wasn’t on it." said Charles J, Fuschillo, Jr President/CEO Alzheimer Foundation Association.

This disease affects individuals if it runs in their family. It can be an overwhelming experience when love ones experience symptoms. Family members at that point become more that just a son or daughter some become caretakers.

Sharon Bull who is currently a caretaker said "My mother who is 97 she has Alzheimer’s. They really need to be engaging, they need to have activity and be around other people. I think its very important to get them out there. Not knowing where to go is like the hardest thing, not knowing the resources that our out there for us."

There are facilities like ADAKC which provides services throughout the day for patients with Alzheimer’s. They have breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Also have interactive games and activities to keep the mind stimulated.

A cure for Alzheimer disease has not been found yet, but there are methods and facilities that help patients throughout the process. If you would like to join or visit the ADAKC they are open to the public and want you to reach out on their website. For 23 ABC Im Eric J. Dockery your Bakersfield neighborhood reporter.

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