WHAT: The recent approval of aducanumab has sparked both controversy and hope for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In a new commentary in Science, Selkoe provides context and an overview of emerging treatments for AD beyond aducanumab’s approval, describing other recent AD immunotherapy trials, the biological understanding of AD that has given rise to drug targets, key advances such as the emergence of blood tests for AD and additional therapeutic approaches.
“In therapeutics, as in life, one must walk before one can run,” writes Selkoe. “The approval of aducanumab may provide a proof of concept that can be rapidly improved upon. It may also enable combination treatments, as is typical in chronic diseases.”
Selkoe also outlines the challenges for clinicians as they work to implement aducanumab, including determining eligibility, especially for patients who are more impaired than those included in the clinical trials.
“Overnight, managing an untreatable, ultimately fatal disease has been converted into the complex challenge of offering treatment plans to myriad AD patients,” he writes.