Columbus Memory Center among the first to administer new Alzheimer’s drug

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 8:01 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Columbus Memory Center makes history as the first medical facility in the Southeastern US to administer the new FDA approved Alzheimer’s drug.

The drug is called Aduhelm (add-due-helm) and Doctor Jonathan Liss, a neurologist and the founder of The Columbus Memory Project, says the drug has been proven to remove a protein in the brain that is believed to be the cause of Alzheimer’s.

Carol Klegg and her family are relieved and thankful for the opportunity for her husband Charles Clegg to experience the possibility of having him back to normal. Columbus Memory Center worked very hard to help bring this drug to the community.

“But this is our hope. This will give us our life back again if everything goes well and this will give our family him back again. Whenever you have an Alzheimer’s patient you lose that family member and this will give us back that family member or parts of our family member and keep us with him a lot longer,” said Klegg.

Some doctors are excited about the new treatment while others are skeptical about the drug. Doctor Liss says the evidence is sufficient and people should be celebrating this new breakthrough for Alzheimer’s patients.

The FDA had to give an exception to bring this drug to market. There were two pivotal trials.

“The first showed significant success in slowing this disease in patients with early illness. And I have to emphasize that, it’s with early illness. The second trial was stopped earlier than planned because of the way the trial was designed not because the drug actually failed,” explained Dr. Liss.

Dr. Liss says research shows the drug is most efficient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and works by eliminating matter in the brain that is believed to cause the disease. It’s administered through an IV.

“This drug removes from the brain the protein that we think causes the disease, Amyloid. So when people have this disease their brains are loaded with amyloid and after about a year of getting the drug their brain is drained of all the Amyloid. It’s a remarkable thing,” beamed Dr. Liss.

While the price for treatment is expensive Dr. Liss says it is not yet set in stone.

The process is simple, but long as it takes about 3 and a half hours. Dr. Liss says the biggest side effect is boredom.

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