Thirty years ago, Drs. Michael Mullan and Fiona Crawford who co-founded the Roskamp Institute with Bob and Diane Roskamp in Manatee County, were members of the team that found the first ever genetic causes of Alzheimer’s Disease. Their identification of genetic errors in the gene for the amyloid protein, which results in its build up in the brain, showed that amyloid could cause Alzheimer’s Disease.

Finally, a drug built on that premise, is heading for approval by the FDA.  The drug, made by Eisai and called Lecanemab, has been shown to reduce the amount of amyloid in the brain and results in clear benefit for patients, with better retention of memory and other mental functions in the early stages of the disease. Importantly, common daily activities such as socializing, caring for oneself and communicating were all preserved better in those Alzheimer patients taking the drug compared to controls.

“It’s great for our patients that, although it’s not a cure, finally a drug will be available that can slow the disease” said Dr Mullan, “and this is clearly the first step in our efforts to slow the disease to a standstill” added Dr Crawford. “We and others are working on ways to do just that.”.

FDA approval for the drug is expected next year with availability for patients soon after.

The Roskamp Institute https://www.roskampinstitute.org/ is a local non-profit organization with an international team of scientists researching treatments for diseases of the mind, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Gulf War Illness, effects of Red Tide, and other inflammatory disorders. With a focus on translational research applied through the Institute’s clinic, the local community is served with new treatments and expert guidance.

The Roskamp Neurology Clinic https://www.roskampclinic.org/ currently helps over 6000 local patients and is dedicated to finding answers to the questions most relevant to caregivers and sufferers of neurological disorders. As we search for the cure to these diseases, we are also committed to providing the best care in terms of diagnosis, novel therapeutic approaches, and support for patients and their caregivers in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

 

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