UK Alzheimer's patient positive after Biogen trials

Aldo Ceresa had to quit his job as a surgeon after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 10 years ago.

But since taking part in clinical trials for a new treatment approved by the FDA on Monday (June 7), he’s seen a marked improvement in his condition.

"I'm more confident in myself and I become more aware that I'm not making so many mistakes anymore. Before I was going to get something, I couldn't remember where to find things in the kitchen. That has become less of a problem now. I'm beginning to find more things out for myself."

Biogen Inc’s Aducanumab is the first drug being used to target an underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

It was approved in the U.S., where Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death.

Britain hasn’t licensed it yet - and clinical trials to prove the drug works are still ongoing.

68-year-old Ceresa has been receiving Aducanumab since 2017 as part of those UK trials.

They are being led by Dr Cath Mummery from the Dementia Research Centre at University College London.

She says the FDA approval in the U.S. is a pivotal moment for those desperate for a cure.

"This will give hope to the people that haven't had any hope for a very long time. Those patients and participants in my trials who are desperate to find something that helps."

It could take months for the drug to be approved in the UK - but experts are optimistic.

Aducanumab is the first newly approved Alzheimer’s drug since 2003, and it’s the only treatment designed to slow progression of the mind-altering disease.

Biogen said it had priced the drug at $56,000 (USD) per year.

Though the drug has been hailed by patients and neurologists as an effective option for Alzheimer’s sufferers, some doctors are still skeptical, and say more proof is needed, as clinical trial results were inconsistent.