Good morning! It's July 5th and you're reading your handcrafted DailyDose newsletter. 

This week the FDA approved Eli Lily's treatment for Alzheimer's marking a huge milestone in the battle against the disease. Additionally, as the Ozempic craze continues, new studies have identified even more dangerous side effects with taking the drug for weight loss. More below.

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FDA Approves Donanemab to Treat Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition that ultimately results in death, with a average 6 year lifespan following diagnosis. Amyloid plaque is a type of misfolded and dysfunctional protein that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients; amyloid plaque is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. 

Donanemab, Eli Lily's new drug, fights Alzheimer's disease by reducing this plaque buildup in the brain. Reducing plaque buildup in the brains of Alzheimer's patients slowed the progression of the neurodegenerative condition, without significant side-effects. Specifically, the clinical trial showed that people who received the drug had a 35% slower disease progression over 1.5 years, compared to people who took a placebo. 

Although rare, the drug did have some adverse side-effects in about 2% of people who received the drug. Additionally, the people who received the drug had a mortality rate of 2% compared to 1.7% for the placebo group. The FDA committee determined these statistics to be within reason for a Alzheimer's drug, resulting in its approval. 

The drug is set to hit the markets under the brand name Kisulna marked at $695 per vial before insurance. At the recommended dosage, that sums up to around $32,000 per year for the treatment. Compared to some alternative medication options, this price is only slightly more expensive. 

This drug is not a cure to Alzheimer's; it's just been shown to reduce the rate at which the condition progresses. With that being said, the road to a total cure is marked with many stepping stones like this one. Donanemab serves as a huge stride in the right direction. 
The Ozempic Saga Continues: Does Ozempic Cause Blindness?

If you've been keeping up with the news, you've surely heard of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovey. These drugs were originally intended for type 2 diabetes treatment, but they've since become popular as an off-label treatment for obesity. The FDA has still yet to approve the use of these drugs for weight-loss specifically. 

A new study published earlier this week identified a correlation between use of semaglutide medication and anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, a rare type of blindness. Generally this type of blindness is very rare, occuring in about 10 out 10,000 Americans, but the clinicians heading this study diagnosed three cases in just one week, all of whom were taking a semaglutide medication. 

A deeper analysis of the data revealed that type 2 diabetics and obese patients taking semaglutide medications were 7 times more likely to experience this type of blindness, compared to those not taking any drugs. The study from this week is not able to prove that semaglutide causes blindness but it provides strong evidence that the two are correlated. 
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