Alzheimer’s drug slowed cognitive decline overall in trial, but with major side effects for some – CBC

Alzheimer’s Association says data shows drug could be beneficial to those in earliest stages of disease

Nov 30, 2022

An experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease from Eisai and Biogen slowed cognitive decline in a closely watched trial, but may carry a risk of dangerous side-effects for certain patients, according to new data presented on Tuesday.

The drug, lecanemab, was associated with a type of brain swelling in 12.6 per cent of trial patients, a side-effect previously seen with similar drugs. Fourteen per cent of patients had microhemorrhages in the brain — a symptom linked to two recent deaths of people receiving lecanemab in a follow-on study — and five patients suffered macrohemorrhages.

The companies said in September that the 18-month trial, which enrolled nearly 1,800 participants with early-stage Alzheimer’s, found that treatment with lecanemab reduced the rate of decline on a clinical dementia scale (CDR-SB) by 27 per cent compared to a placebo.

The results suggest lecanemab slowed the advance of Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages by four to five months over the 18-month period of the study.

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