‘Historic moment’ in Alzheimer’s treatment as a trial medicine is discovered to reduce cognitive decline
Doctors have hailed a “new era” in medicine after research found that a treatment can reduce the severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s for the first time.
Results from the clinical trial also demonstrated that the medicine lecanemab eliminated clumps of a protein called amyloid, thought to be the primary cause of the most prevalent form of dementia, from patients’ brains.
In a study of nearly 1,800 individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s, the medicine lecanemab significantly slowed cognitive deterioration, according to research presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease meeting in San Francisco.
The New England Journal of Medicine simultaneously published the study.
On a scale of 0 to 18, those who received lecanemab infusions performed somewhat better—by roughly half a point—a difference that was statistically significant.
“At long last, we have gained some traction on this most terrible and feared disease, and the years of research and investment have finally paid off,” said Rob Howard, professor of old age psychiatry at University College London.
“It feels historic and monumental.” This will instill genuine hope that dementia can be overcome and, one day, cured.”
The drug trials demonstrated that lecanemab slowed the loss of mental agility and memory by 27% in patients with mild Alzheimer’s.
In the trial, nearly one in five patients who received lecanemab experienced an adverse effect like swelling or brain haemorrhage. Other symptoms included confusion, strange vision, and headaches.
The procedure has been linked to two deaths.
Lecanemab’s safety was the subject of a presentation by Dr. Marwan Sabbagh of the Barrow Neurological Institute. He said that most side effects are “low to moderate.” He also says that the number of anomalies discovered during brain scans “was within expectations.”
The American company Biogen and the Japanese company Eisai are both working on the development of lecanemab.
Lecanemab’s apparent success comes after years of frustration and failure for the firms creating medications meant to remove amyloid from the brain.
The Food and Drug Administration has so far approved only one amyloid medication, Aduhelm.
Despite conflicting evidence regarding its efficacy and after an FDA advisory committee voted against approval, that drug—also created by Eisai and Biogen—was authorised in 2021.
Aduhelm’s sales have been sluggish, in large part because Medicare will only pay for the medication for individuals taking part in a research trial.
Lecanemab has some drawbacks, but Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families are eagerly looking forward to its arrival.
By January6,2023, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a decision.