Doctors Weigh Pros and Cons of Prescribing Hot-Button Alzheimer’s Drug

As physicians and health policy experts debate the merits of Aduhelm, the first new drug for Alzheimer’s disease approved in 18 years, patients want to know: “Will this medication help me — and how much?”

Doctors explaining the pros and cons of Aduhelm won’t have a definitive answer. “On an individual basis, it will be absolutely impossible to predict,” said Dr. Allan Levey, director of the Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Emory University.

Cognitive decline varies widely among people who have started experiencing memory and thinking problems or who are in the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s — the patients in whom Aduhelm was tested, Levey noted.

“The nature and rate of progression varies tremendously, and we’re not going to know when we treat somebody [with Aduhelm] if their progression will be fast or slow or average — we just won’t be able to say,” Levey explained.

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