KENSINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — “He was having difficulty having a conversation, couldn’t get the words out,” said Sue Sirois, of her husband, Jim, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in April of 2020 when he was only 64-years-old.

The Sirois’ wanted to do as much as they could to fight the disease, so Jim, a father of two sons, became part of a clinical trial, taking a new drug called Donanemab.

But the pandemic caused delays.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t start the trial until 2021, so, we lost that whole year,” Sue explained.

Even so, Jim’s disease is progressing slowly, a possible outcome of the drug, showing promise.

“Dananemab and medications like it are actually targeting the underlying brain changes, the amyloid plaque that builds-up, so, it’s really the first disease-modifying class of medications that we’ve had,” said Dr. Kristina Zdanys, a geriatric psychiatrist at UConn Health.

She believes Donanemab could change the landscape of this disease, tragic for so many families.

“Alzheimer’s is unique in the sense that it really steals folks identity,” she said. “The more we’re able to do targeted treatments for our patients, the closer we’re getting in terms of more effective treatments and ultimately finding a cure.”

To fight the disease, the Sirois’ also bowl in leagues, understanding it’s important to stay active.

“It’s a great social activity to go bowling, talk with the people there and it’s fun,” Sue said.

They also lean on the Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for support.

While the future is uncertain, the Sirois’ have faith that Donanemab will make a difference.

“I hope that it is the drug that’s helping him,” Sue said. “If he can have a slower progression, we’ll be happy.”

The doctor hopes Dananemab will be approved by the FDA by the end of the year.

She also says the drug is most effective when started early in the onset of the disease.