FDA Approves First New Drug for Alzheimer’s in 17 Years

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Aduhelm (aducanumab) to treat people living with Alzheimer's disease, the first new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease in 17 years. This is a key decision, not only because of how long it has been since the last Alzheimer's drug was approved, but also because this is the first Alzheimer's medication directed at modifying an underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease, plaque in the brain.

Developed by Biogen, the drug targets the presence of amyloid beta plaques in the brain and is administered by monthly infusions. Aduhelm was approved under the FDA's Accelerated Approval pathway, which allows the FDA to approve drugs for a serious or life-threatening illness that may provide meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments despite some uncertainty about the drug's clinical benefit. Biogen will need to conduct post-approval studies to verify the clinical benefit of the drug.
This is major news for people living with Alzheimer's disease. To celebrate this milestone, consider becoming a Dementia Friend! During June, which is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, Dementia Friendly America, an initiative administered by n4a, is asking everyone to become a Dementia Friend to help us reach our 100,000 Dementia Friends goal.
In addition to becoming a Dementia Friend online at, 26 states are offering live Dementia Friends sessions. There are over 97,000 Dementia Friends currently. A Dementia Friend is someone who understands dementia, how it affects people and how everyone can make a difference in ways big and small for people who are impacted by dementia.



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!