The makers of Aduhelm, a drug approved last month despite concerns raised by experts about its effectiveness, have launched a website and ads designed to urge people who are worried about their memory to ask doctors about testing. But some health advocates say it is misleading because some memory loss with aging is normal.
The potential benefits of Aduhelm are small, its effectiveness is not certain, and even the FDA Thursday shifted its guidance on who should get the drug. But physicians are dealing with an onslaught of interest from patients and their families, and figuring out which patients are best positioned to be helped by the drug will be difficult.
Criminal charges filed against two officers who injured a Colorado woman with dementia don’t address the fact that police often lack the skills to effectively deal with suspects with mental disabilities.
The federal approval of a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has reignited the debate over drug prices and the way the Food and Drug Administration makes decisions. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to international health efforts. Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And to mark the podcast’s 200th episode, the panelists discuss what has surprised them most and least over the past four years.
When the covid pandemic hit, Dr. Rebecca Elon was thrust into a new role, primary caregiver for her severely ill husband and her elderly mother. “Reading about caregiving of this kind was one thing. Experiencing it was entirely different,” she says.
Long before they receive a dementia diagnosis, many people begin to mismanage their finances as their memory, organizational skills and self-control falter.
Arthur and Maggie Kelley of St. Louis died 30 days apart. Maggie died of complications of dementia in November. Arthur, who had moved into her nursing home to be with her, died a month later of covid. Their family held a double funeral.
Older patients with cancer, dementia or other serious illnesses should check with their doctors, but medical experts recommend the vaccine for most people.
COVID-19 has upended the lives of people with dementia, limiting their interactions with others and complicating matters for their caregivers.
Because seniors are at higher risk of cognitive impairment, proponents say screening asymptomatic older adults is an important strategy to identify people who may be developing dementia and to improve their care. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force cited insufficient evidence the tests are helpful.