2023 started positively, at least for the 6.5 million US sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA granted accelerated approval for the medication lecanemab. In clinical trials of 1,800 people, it showed slowing of cognitive decline in those with mild impairment.
Lecanemab, a monoclonal antibody, targets the amyloid protein that builds up in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Over 18 months, those who received lecanemab had a 27% slower decline vs those who received placebo and showed no plaque reduction.
Risks must be noted: the treatment may cause mild to moderate brain swelling, which typically resolved within 4 months. Some had more serious swelling and symptoms including confusion, headache, and visual problems.
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