• On Good Things Utah this morning – Exciting Alzheimer’s news to share this morning, just this month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. Lecanemab, which will be available under the name Leqembi, can slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease by 27%, according to data submitted to the FDA by the drug’s developers, Eisai and Biogen. It’s only the second medication to show any improvement in neurodegeneration, a key criterion in the FDA’s consideration for approval.
    • “For a long time, this is what we have been looking for,” says Dr. Sam Gandy, professor of neurology and psychiatry and director of the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health (who was not involved in making or testing the drug). “We’d certainly like to see a larger benefit, but this is a step in the right direction.”
  • So what is Lecanemab? Lecanemab is the latest in a long line of drugs that targets amyloid, a protein that builds up abnormally in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. It works on a form of amyloid called protofibrils that are particularly toxic to brain neurons. The drug attaches to these pieces of amyloid, preventing them from clustering together to form the plaques that can compromise nerve function. While the 27% improvement in cognitive test scores among the patients taking Lecanemab compared to those receiving placebo over 18 months may not seem dramatic, it could slow decline enough to give patients months or even years of additional time with fewer memory problems. Tune in as we dive in to this Hot Topic and so much more this morning on GTU.