Expert offers his views on an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease

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According to drugmakers Eisai and Biogen, a Phase 3 clinical study of a potential new drug for Alzheimer’s disease is promising. The study results show that the drug, lecanemab, reduced the clinical decline of people with Alzheimer’s disease by 27% compared to a placebo after 18 months of treatment.

“This is great news for Alzheimer’s disease patients and their families,” said Dr. Ronald Petersen, neurologist and director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. “While it’s not a cure for the disease, it does represent a step in the right direction in slowing cognitive decline.”

A monoclonal antibody, lecanemab shows promise in clearing amyloid plaques from the brain. Plaques are one of the defining characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Petersen adds: “These data suggest that we can intervene in the amyloid process and slow it down. Now we need to act earlier in the disease process to treat amyloid positive but clinically normal people.

The study included 1,795 participants with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in Japan, the United States, Europe and China.

The drugmaker has applied for accelerated approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The study results will be presented at the Congress of Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) in November and are expected to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

“We look forward to additional data from this study and further studies of disease-modifying therapies that will attack the underlying disease process itself,” says Dr. Petersen.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder affecting approximately 6 million people in the United States and more than 55 million people worldwide. This number is expected to reach 139 million worldwide by 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

  • The brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease can lead to increasing problems with:
  • Memory
  • think and reason
  • Make judgments and decisions
  • Planning and performing familiar tasks
  • Personality and behavior changes

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Medications can temporarily improve or slow the progression of symptoms.

On average, people with Alzheimer’s disease live between three and 11 years after diagnosis, although some can survive more than 20 years.

New drug for Alzheimer’s disease shows promise in phase 3 clinical trial

Mayo Clinic News Network 2022.

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