HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Results from an 18-month clinical trial of a drug to slow the decline of early Alzheimer’s disease have been released, raising hope for many, but with some dangers.
The results coming out of the the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference, going on in San Francisco, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. They show the drug lecanemab reduces clinical decline in study participants by 27%.
“That’s never happened, before so when I saw unprecedented I really mean it,” Hartford Healthcare neurologist Amy Sanders said.
“That means more people would have more time,” Sanders said. “We just had Thanksgiving. They’d have more time to spend with their families at holidays, they might be able to go on a vacation that’s on their bucket list.”
More trials are expected, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide whether to grant accelerated approval to lecanemab by Jan. 6. That means it could possibly become available in the spring.
Some possible dangers of the drug were observed in the study, including brain bleeding and swelling. Those taking blood thinners could be most at risk, but research is ongoing into the two trial deaths.
“As I read somewhere recently, there are a lot of people with Alzheimer’s disease that would be willing to risk having a brain hemorrhage if they could get a medication that would give them five more months,” Sanders said.