The first drug to offer a real cure for Alzheimer's patients: What is Lecanemab? What are the side effects of lecanemab?

Published: 1 year ago

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While the drug was seen as a milestone by experts in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, lecanemab appeared to largely stop cognitive decline and brain destruction.

Thus, lecanemab became the first drug to offer a real cure for Alzheimer's patients.

However, the fact that the drug has some serious side effects has raised several safety concerns.

Lecanemab was the first experimental dementia drug that appeared to slow the progression of cognitive decline.

In long-awaited Phase 3 trial data published in the New England Journal of Medicine, drugmakers Biogen and Eisai announced that lecanemab reduced cognitive and functional decline by 27 percent.

In people with early Alzheimer's disease, lecanemab lowered brain amyloid* levels and was associated with a lower decrease in clinical measures of cognition and function than placebo at 18 months,\ the researchers wrote.

Longer trials are needed to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in early Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid: Amyloid refers to an abnormal protein produced by cells in the bone marrow that can accumulate in any organ or tissue of the body.

A combination of amyloid in the brain is thought to cause dementia.

In a statement, the U.

S. Alzheimer's Association welcomed all of the Phase 3 data, saying, \These peer-reviewed, published results suggest that lecanemab will give patients more time to participate in daily life and live independently.

Phase 3 clinical trials of Lecanemab were conducted at 235 facilities in North America, Europe and Asia from March 2019 to March 2021. The study included one thousand 795 adults aged 50 to 90 with mild cognitive impairment due to early Alzheimer's disease or dementia associated with mild Alzheimer's disease.

About half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive lecaneab, which was given as an intravenous injection every two weeks, and the others received a placebo.

Lecanemaab, a monoclonal antibody, works by binding to the amyloid protein, which is the hallmark of degenerative brain disorder.

At the start of the study, the participants' average amyloid level was 77.92 centiloid* in the lecanemab group and 75.03 centiloid in the placebo group.

The researchers found that at 18 months, the average amyloid level dropped by 55.48 centiloids in the lecanemab group and increased by 3.64 centiloids in the placebo group.

Centiloid: A 100-brim scale called a centyloid is used to describe the condition of Alzheimer's patients.

While people who do not have Alzheimer's and do not have amyloid protein in their vetins are rated as 0 centiloids, the figure on the scale increases as cognitive decline increases.

About 6.9 percent of study participants in the lecanemab group stopped working because of side effects, compared to 2.9 percent of those in the placebo group.

Overall, 14 percent of the lecanemab group and 11.3 percent of the placebo group had serious side effects.

The most common side effects in the drug group were reactions to intravenous injections and abnormalities in their MRI, such as imaging abnormalities associated with amyloid, or brain swelling and brain hemorrhage called ARIA.

Dr Marwan Sabbagh, author of the study and a professor at the Barrow Institute of Neurology, said: \Lecanemab was generally well tolerated.

Most adverse events included infusion-related reactions, ARIA-H and ARIA-E, and headaches.

Such incidents were resolved within months.

On the other hand, 17.3 percent of those in the Lecanemab group and 9 percent of those in the placebo group had an ARIA brain hemorrhage.

According to research data, ARIA brain swelling was documented as 12.6 percent with lecanemab and 1.7 percent with placebo.

Most recently, Bart De Strooper, director of the UK Dementia Research Institute, said Alzheimer's remains a \complex\ disease.

We have a lot to learn about the underlying causes,\ Strooper said.

Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to invest in exploratory research, and in doing so, we can also identify new targets where we can develop treatments that we can use in combination with anti-amyloid drugs such as lecanemaab.

This trial proves that Alzheimer's disease can be treated.


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