Jeff Gelblum, MD, a board-certified neurologist with First Choice Neurology, the nation’s largest neurology practice, is scheduled to treat the first patient in Florida with Biogen’s Aducanumab (Aduhelm), a monthly infusion treatment for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. The drug works to decrease amyloid plaque in the brain, which is a marker for Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Dr. Gelblum, Florida’s first Aducanumab patient is a middle-aged woman who is in good health and lives in Aventura. Showing signs of mild Alzheimer’s, she underwent a series of tests at First Choice Neurology offices to determine her qualification for the treatment.
“Not every Alzheimer’s patient is eligible to receive this treatment,” said Dr. Gelblum. “A patient must undergo a thorough evaluation before infusions are started.”
To derive maximum benefit from this new drug, Dr. Gelblum is selecting patients who are similar to the best responders in the Aduhelm clinical trials — mild disease, confirmed amyloid plaque in the brain, and overall good health and functionality.
This evaluation, he explained, includes a brain MRI to confirm that the cognitive decline is not related to other causes, such as stroke or hydrocephalus; a PET Scan or spinal tap to confirm that the plaque-forming amyloid protein is in fact present; and clinical assessments of independent activities of daily living, mood, and various cognitive tasks involving memory and attention.
Aducanumab Infusion Treatments
The Aducanumab (Aduhelm) treatment consists of a monthly IV dose of medication provided in a First Choice Neurology infusion center. Doses gradually increase over a seven-month period and level off at 10mg/kg of weight.
First Choice Infusion Centers are located in Kendall, Pembroke Pines, and Boca Raton, Florida. An Infusion Center is where infusion or injectable medications are administered intravenously by a healthcare provider as a distinct part of their medical practice.
Infusion therapy or infusion refers to medications delivered intravenously or an IV administration to the patient. Sometimes infusion medications are referred to as injectables or intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. Infusion, intravenous or injectable methods of drug delivery are typically used when oral or pill medications are insufficient or unavailable. Many of the newest medications are Biologic (made or derived from living cells) and cannot be taken orally because they will not remain effective after exposure to the digestive system.