UW Medicine’s Memory and Brain Wellness Center treated its first patient with the new Alzheimer’s drug, lecanemab, on Dec. 1. The drug has been shown to reduce cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.
Lecanemab (sold under the brand name Leqembi) was approved this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In January, the New England Journal of Medicine published clinical-trial findings that showed treatment with lecanemab reduced the amount of amyloid in the brains of patients with early Alzheimer’s and slowed their cognitive and functional decline.
“Though the outcome was relatively modest — a 27% slowing of cognitive decline and functional decline over 18 months — this is still a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, associate professor of neurology at the UW School of Medicine and director of clinical trials at the Memory and Brain Wellness Center.
Although lecanemab is not a cure, it is the first FDA-approved drug shown to modify the course of this disease.