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First Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month with new drug brings hope

Alzheimer’s is a leading cause of death in America yet very little is known about the disease and there is no cure.
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The Western Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association hopes awareness breeds progress in the treatment of this widespread disease.

“Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, so we really want everybody to be aware of how important that early detection and accurate diagnosis is, along with that burden that caregivers experience all during this month,” CEO Katherine Lambert said.

In June, the FDA approved a drug called aducanumab. Health experts say it targets the underlying biology of Alzheimer’s and can delay its progression. The Alzheimer’s Association works to cover the costs of treatment and tests for people living with the disease.

“Eliminating any barriers to access is really our highest priority now that we have this drug approved,” Lambert said. “Making sure it is available for those for whom it is indicated but also to advocate and fund additional research because this is not a cure, it’s a first step and we know that there will be many more to come to market.”

The association is also highlighting the role caregivers play in Alzheimer’s. Last year, they say North Carolina caregivers provided 517 million hours of unpaid help. Resources for care and support are offered to both them and their loved ones.

To learn more about your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, look to their website. You can also call their 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

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