A treatment that improves Alzheimer’s disease would be a great advance, but Leqembi (lecanemab), which recently received accelerated approval from the FDA, is not that drug. Yes, lecanemab slows decline to an extent detectable on a test, but not to an extent that a relative or caretaker would notice. This drug doesn’t actually make anything better. It just slows the rate that someone goes downhill over 18 months — by less than half a point on an 18 point scale. And we don’t know whether things get better or worse after that. Leqembi is similar to Aduhelm (aducanumab), approved last year by the FDA, despite its advisory committee soundly rejecting it.
Too soon to celebrate new Alzheimer’s drug
January 24, 2023