FDA makes Alzheimer’s drug accessible

Author: Amy Oshier Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

The drug Lecanemab, formerly called Leqembi, marks a milestone in a disease that decimates the mind and robs people of their memories.

It is the first treatment to slow Alzheimer’s. The twice-monthly infusion allows patients to hold on to normalcy longer.

“We’re so excited because it slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s. In phase three clinical trials, it slowed down the progression by 5.3 months, which is an 18-month period of treatment, that’s really amazing,” Carla Calavitta said, of Florida Gulf Coast Alzheimer’s Association. “And more time with your family, with your friends, to be able to drive to be able to participate in your hobbies and your daily life. That’s more time.

Studies found that Lecanemab works by clearing the sticky amyloid plaque which clogs the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. But it is only effective when symptoms are mild.

“But the important thing is that we diagnose people early because it is helpful only in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. So 2000 people a day actually reach a point where no medication can help, which is why we’re so wanting to get the word out,” Calavitta said.

While it is not a cure, the drug may give the gift of time and hope that more treatments will come along.

The FDA included a strong warning that this drug needs to be closely monitored. It can cause brain bleeds in some people.

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