The final few weeks of 2016 brought some bad news for individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, one Indianapolis organization is already hard at work on plans to make 2017 a much more positive year.
Alzheimer’s Drug Fails in Clinical Test
At the end of November, pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly revealed that solanezumab, a drug that had shown promise in slowing the onset of dementia in people who were in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, had failed to produce significant benefits during a multi-year clinical study involving more than 2,000 participants.
“The results of the solanezumab EXPEDITION3 trial were not what we had hoped for and we are disappointed for the millions of people waiting for a potential disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease,” John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., who is Eli Lilly’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said in the official release announcing the setback.
In a Nov. 23 Wall Street Journal article about solanezumab’s ability to treat Alzheimer’s disease, writer Peter Loftus described the results of the study as “another blow to the pharmaceutical industry’s long quest to find a better treatment for the brain-damaging condition.”
Awareness and Support in Indianapolis
Less than one month after news of the solanezumab study’s results were made public, the Indianapolis-based Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indiana announced that work was already underway on a statewide series of events in June that organizers hope will increase awareness, raise funds, and serve as a source of support to the many people in Indiana who are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
According to an article on the website of Indianapolis television station WISH, more than 100,000 Indiana residents are among the estimated five million American men and women who are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.
On June 21, 2017, the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Indiana will join forces with Alzheimer’s Association chapters throughout the United States in The Longest Day, which the organization’s website describes as “a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.”
In the WISH article, Anne Murray, who is coordinating the Greater Indiana chapter’s Longest Day events, said the goal of the day is for individuals and groups in the Indianapolis area to develop fun and innovative ways to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and to raise money to support families who are currently being impacted by the disease.
“The Longest Day’s flexibility allows people to create an event that reflects their interests and their schedules,” Ms. Murray said. “From hosting a backyard barbecue or euchre event to urban scavenger hunts, facility open houses or going casual for the cause at work, teams are having a blast brainstorming ideas with us to create fun activities that raise awareness and funds for those facing Alzheimer’s and their families.”
Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease in Indianapolis
The unfortunate reality of Alzheimer’s disease is that researchers have yet to discover either a cure for the disease or a means of permanently halting the progression of dementia. However, significant advances have been made in the effort to slow the onset of symptoms and to help individuals manage their symptoms and retain the highest quality of life for the longest period of time.
If someone in your life is in need of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia in the Indianapolis area, Options Behavioral Health System may be uniquely prepared to provide the ideal type and level of care.