Attached is an optimistic article on Aducanumab, a new drug being developed by Biogen that (hopefully) shows the possibility of slowing cognitive decline in dementia patients (there was also an earlier Times Video this week about the drug…link below).

But…Wow…did the second sentence skip right to the stock rise as a result of this promising drug. Ka-Ching. Ka-Ching.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get any drug tested, let alone manufactured, without a massive amount of money behind it, and, in this particular case, because, depending on which report you read, there are anywhere from between 5 million to 6.5 million Americans who are living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia, the need to help these men and women is great indeed and, therefore, the amount of money to be made on this drug if it does indeed prove in expanded trials to be effective is downright staggering. Alzheimer’s is a worldwide horror, so I understand cutting to the money chase.

My mother died of Alzhiemer’s and my husband’s mother died of vascular dementia so I champion and welcome the research, the testing, the reports. I only wish that in these articles attention is also paid, while everyone is busy hoping for and waiting for a much needed drug cure, to interventions and technologies that can enhance the daily lives of men and women living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

Home caregivers have a rough time – very often someone in the family has to give up working in order to care for a parent or spouse or relative at home, because dedicated Alzheimer’s facilities are expensive. Very often these home caregivers are cast in the role of “nurse,” but without the training and without the salary. Very often these home caregivers have to pull tricks of care out of their hats 24/7/365 without any relief, without any near end in sight…because the disease can linger on for many, many years before the unfortunate host often dies of something else entirely. Like pneumonia.

But in the meanwhile what is a caregiver to do? There are modalities that can soothe the souls of those living with dementia and Music Therapy, Therapeutic Music Listening, Art Therapy and Movement Therapy are just a few of them.

These technologies are not cures of course, rather they are tools that can be used to alter aggressive or frightened moods, lull one into sleep, tease out bits of conversation and positive memories, brighten a day’s mood through the use of music of personal preference, or music that is known to have been favored in the past.

Art is food for the soul…painting or drawing or just the simple act of using a coloring block and bring calm and pleasure to someone with dementia.

So, too, movement therapy, which can be physically soothing and help with sleep and general moods.

If there is someone in your life with Alzheimer’s, or if you know of someone who has Alzheimer’s or related dementia whose caregivers could use a little “help” while we (all) await a drug cure, I have included below a few links that I hope will be useful in that endeavor.

I hope Biogen’s new drug becomes widely available if it is effective. In the meanwhile, not everything great comes in a pill bottle.

Great things can be heard in song, or seen within the pages of a photo album, or explored in the works of art on a wall…or in the pages of a coloring book with the help of a box of crayons. They all helped my mother.

Maybe they can help someone you know. I hope so, and I share it all for what it is worth.

The Mayo Clinic: How can music help people who have Alzheimer’s Disease?:

The Mayo Clinic: How can music help people who have Alzheimer’s Disease?:

American Music Therapy Association:

Music Has Power: The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:

American Music Therapy Association:

How Art Therapy enhances the quality of life for Dementia Patients:

Dance Movement Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease:

Biogen Idec’s potential new Alzheimer’s drug:

#Alzheimers #BiogenIdec #Aducanumab #Dementia #MusicTherapy   #ArtTherapy #DanceTherapy #AmericanMusicTherapyAssociation   #AlzheimersAssociation