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Regarding Lecanemab for Early Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

posted January 8, 2023

Announced in The New England Journal of Medicine on January 5, 2023, lecanemab is the newest potential treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease to be making its way through clinical trials. Initial results have been favorable as the drug moves through U.S. FDA Clinical Trials, with a hope that it will garner full approval at the beginning of 2024.

Researchers reported a 27% reduction in the rate of cognitive decline in those who received lecanemab infusions compared to patients who received a placebo (an inert infusion with no lecanemab). Safety continues to be a concern, as is true with AduhelmTM (which is already FDA approved). Both of these monoclonoal antibodies seem to carry risks like brain swelling and a build-up of fluid in the brain, both of which appear on brain scans as ARIA (amyloid-related imaging abnormalities). While AduhelmTM seemed to lead to more conflicting findings, results from lecanemab trials appear to more clearly indicate benefits in slowing cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Related Journal Article

About AduhelmTM: The New Drug for Alzheimer’s Disease

posted July 17, 2021

AduhelmTM (aducanamab) was recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease. The drug is designed to utilize a person’s immune system to prevent build up of new plaques in the brain. Amyloid plaques are believed to be a fundamental contributor to the symptoms of the disease, such as memory loss.

This new drug is not currently known to halt the progression of symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, because the results of clinical studies were mixed. However, the drug does reduce plaques in the brain—leading the U.S. FDA to expect that it will also reliably reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you or someone you care about has Alzheimer’s Disease, it is worth discussing this and other treatment options with your health provider.

About Research on New Treatments

How can a caregiver cope with sundowning?

We have received some questions about sundowning.

Overall, this phenomenon is associated with late-day confusion and disorientation among people with dementia.

Here are links to a couple of brief videos about sundowning:


Dementia Care