NewsletterSurgery & Meds

Lecanemab for Alzheimer’s Disease

Executive summary

* This week, we're looking at two published papers about a drug called lecanemab, which is intended to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in people with early signs of the condition.

* Lecanemab has been approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). It has not yet been approved in the UK (at the time of writing.)

* The first paper described a randomised controlled trial (RCT), which had assigned 1,795 people to either lecanemab or placebo and followed them for 18 months.

* There were many inclusion and exclusion criteria, which is what the second paper focused on. This made the drug untested in 9 out of 10 people who might benefit from it.

* The main outcome of interest was performance on cognitive tests for AD. Both groups worsened over time during the trial, but the lecanemab group worsened less than the placebo group.

* There were serious safety concerns. The trial drop-out rate was 17%. In the lecanemab group, brain bleeds occurred in 17% of participants and brain swelling in 13%.


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