Lecanemab is an antibody used to help reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive condition that affects both the brain and memory. It has been shown to be effective in slowing down the progression of symptoms and helping patients retain their cognitive abilities for longer periods of time.
What is Lecanemab?
Lecanemab is an antibody-based treatment option for individuals with Alzheimer’s. It works by targeting and inhibiting a protein known as amyloid beta which accumulates in the brain, causing memory loss and cognitive decline. By preventing this buildup of protein, lecanemab can help improve or maintain the function of neurons in the brain.
How Does It Work?
Lecanemab works by targeting and inhibiting the action of a protein known as amyloid-beta. This protein accumulates in the brain, leading to deposition of amyloid plaques which are associated with memory loss and cognitive decline. By preventing this buildup of protein, it can help improve or maintain the function of neurons in the brain. As a result, it is believed that the drug may be able to help slow down or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Are the Benefits of Lecanemab?
Recent clinical trials have shown that lecanemab offers many benefits. These include improved memory, increased ability to handle day-to-day tasks, improved functioning in social and occupational settings, and a slowed decline in cognitive abilities. Additionally, the drug may also help reduce symptoms such as agitation, irritability, and depression. Thus, it may be an effective treatment for managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers also saw reductions in the levels of tau – the protein responsible for the neurofibrillary tangles that accumulate inside the neurons in patient’s with Alzheimer’s. And they found reduced levels of other proteins that measure brain injury and degeneration. This suggests that lecanemab could potentially address the disease by targeting it through both direct and indirect pathways.
The first phase 2 study published in December 2022 enrolling 856 participants reported significant reductions in amyloid plaques on brain imaging tests, reductions in blood measurements of amyloid and tau protein and slowing of disease progression.
The second study published in January 2023 and including 1,795 participants also showed beneficial effects, along with a reduction in the amounts of beta-amyloid measured in imaging tests and in the blood.
What Are Side Effects ?
While lecanemab is generally well-tolerated, there are some possible side effects associated with this treatment. These include headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Additionally, people may also experience behavioral symptoms such as agitation and confusion. It is important to talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience while using lecanemab, as they may be a sign of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
Who Should Consider Taking Lecanemab?
Lecanemab is approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in people aged 55 and older with mild to moderate symptoms. People who have early drug-naïve Alzheimer’s may receive the most benefit from this drug. Additionally, it may be beneficial for those whose disease has worsened despite taking other medications such as donepezil or memantine.