Farmington Hills clinic gives first dose of new Alzheimer’s drug

The Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders (MIND) in Farmington Hills last week administered the very first dose of a new FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

The patient, a 68-year-old woman from West Bloomfield, said Biogen’s Aduhelm (generic name aducanumab) gives her hope.

MIND Aduhelm Alzheimer's disease
A West Bloomfield patient (not pictured) receives the very first dose of Aduhelm last Wednesday. (contributed)

“While I feel like I’m functioning just fine now, my prognosis tells me that I can expect changes in the future,” she said in a press release. “I do know that I want to be able to preserve myself, my cognitive abilities, as long as possible and if I can help others by being one of the first to experience this new treatment option, I’m excited to do so for the greater good. It’s a glimmer of hope for me and others.”

Her husband added, “I’m so proud of her. She’s a pioneer and lighting the way for other patients with MCI and Alzheimer’s who may be considering this as an option on their journey with the disease. We have faith that with this treatment, the onset of symptoms will be delayed.”

‘A step in the right direction’

“While this drug is not a cure, it’s certainly a step in the right direction and offers hope for patients,” said Dr. Jonathan Fellows, neurologist and co-director of MIND’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Center. “If we can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, our patients may be able to benefit from future treatments as they become available.”

Aduhelm is the first therapy that targets the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease and the first new treatment approved for Alzheimer’s since 2003.

Administered intravenously, the lab-made antibody targets small and large clumps of the sticky protein amyloid beta. Research shows the treatment slows disease progression by removing that telltale feature of Alzheimer’s disease.

Launched in 2020, MIND’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorder Center promotes the clinical diagnosis, treatment, and education of memory disorders. An estimated 190,000 Michiganders over 65 have Alzheimer’s.

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