Abu Dhabi: Hospital offers breakthrough medication for Alzheimer’s patients

The disease is the most common cause of dementia and impacts a person’s behaviour, thinking capabilities, intellectual functions and social skills


Ashwani Kumar

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Tue 23 May 2023, 1:22 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 May 2023, 7:25 PM

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) has become Abu Dhabi’s first hospital to secure and provide a US Food and Drug Administration-approved novel medication for an elderly couple with Alzheimer’s disease, which has improved their quality of life.

The couple, both 68 years old, were brought to the hospital by their son, who noticed that his parents showed unusual neurological symptoms, such as repetitive forgetfulness. Dr Ahmed Shatila, neurology consultant at SSMC, conducted an in-depth evaluation of both patients and diagnosed them with Alzheimer’s disease.

Photo: Dr Ahmed Shatila
Photo: Dr Ahmed Shatila

“Fortunately, both my patients were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an early stage, which meant that they were well suited to receive this novel therapy that is used to treat milder forms of Alzheimer’s. Thanks to the latest scientific advancements and valuable exchanges among our highly experienced and multidisciplinary medical team, SSMC is able to contribute to an improved quality of life for patients living with complex disorders,” Dr Shatila said.

The breakthrough medication reduces the progression of the neurological disorder by working with the body’s immune system to clear amyloid protein buildup from the brain.

“I am glad to report that both patients are stable after receiving the medication and their family members have remarked improvements in their levels of memory loss,” Dr Shatila noted.

Photo: Dr Deanne Kashiwagi
Photo: Dr Deanne Kashiwagi

Talking about the importance of making novel treatments available to patients with progressive disorders, Dr Deanne Kashiwagi, deputy chief medical officer at SSMC, said: “SSMC’s primary mission is to place the needs of our patients first and provide the best care possible to patients closer to home, by making accessible a wide range of effective treatments right here in Abu Dhabi.”

SSMC is a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, US.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and impacts a person’s behaviour, thinking capabilities, intellectual functions and social skills. Memory loss is the most common symptom in patients with the disease, and although there’s no cure for it currently, medications like the one prescribed for the couple address the underlying biology of the disease.

It also reduces beta-amyloid plaques from clumping together, helping to significantly reduce the disease’s progression. Amyloid is a toxic protein in the brain linked to cognitive disease.


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