Evansville patients, families react to trial showing positive results for Alzheimer’s drug

Evansville patients, families react to trial showing positive results for Alzheimer’s drug
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The CEO of drugmaker Eli Lilly says it has made a major breakthrough following the results of a clinical trial in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

On Wednesday, a study was released on the drug Donanemab, which is a monthly antibody infusion for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

[Study: Experimental Alzheimer’s drug slows decline]

Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks says 47% of people who took the drug in the study showed no progression of the illness at one year.

This drug hasn’t gotten approval from the Food and Drug Administration yet, but these results are leaving many people affected by Alzheimer’s disease hopeful.

14 News met up with the community resource director of the Walnut Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Evansville. Emily Dominguez says they watch the progression of this debilitating disease every day. She says it can be an emotional decision when a family transitions their loved one to assisted care.

Dominguez tells 14 News that her team will be there every step of the way to ensure the greatest quality of life.

“We see the struggles and challenges that come along with the progression of that disease,” Dominguez said. “And so for us, obviously knowing that there could be a medical advancement like this, that is going to slow the progression and increase quality of life for the residents that we have is wonderful to hear for them, as well as their families.”

Elanie Arnold’s grandmother is a patient at Walnut Creek.

She says her grandmother has been battling Alzheimer’s disease for about five years.

She says watching her best friend decline is the hardest thing she has been through.

If Donanemab is approved, Arnold says she will talk with her grandmother’s doctor to see if she can give it a try.

“The quality of life – their dignity, I mean just little things,” Arnold said. “You can’t put a price on that. And the fact that we’re still in the process of trying to find out ways to help this population and to help them have a better quality of life, maybe to stay at home a little bit longer, help them get to one more ball game. I would never want anybody to feel less than because of a diagnosis and I think that was her thing. She wanted to keep who she was as long as she could.”

The CEO of Eli Lilly says this is not a cure but a big step forward.

He is hoping to get FDA approval by the end of 2023.