Dr. Mateja de Leonni Stanonik provides update on two infusion treatments for Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's patients now have two intravenous infusion treatments available, aducanumab and lecanemab. Dr. de Leonni Stanonik explains.
By: Vita Medica Institute, Dr. Mateja de Leonni
TUCSON, Ariz. - June 9, 2023 - PRLog -- The exact cause of Alzheimer's is elusive. According to current scientific opinion, it is caused by an abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells. These proteins are amyloid (which forms plaques around brain cells), and tau (which form tangles within brain cells). The result is a loss of neurons and their connections.

But we don't really know what sets these proteins amyloid and tau in motion. Some genetic and environmental risk factors have been identified. Other risk factors are head injuries, depression, and high blood pressure.

There are several treatment options available for Alzheimer's. Now there are two new treatments, both administered by intravenous infusion, that have shown encouraging results. They are aducanumab and lecanemab.

The Food and Drug Administration (abbreviated FDA) approved aducanumab through accelerated approval in June 2021. See https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-grants-accelerated-approval-alzheimers-drug

This FDA approval is noteworthy—it was the first in over 18 years. It is the first treatment to attack what many believe is an underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease, the build-up of proteins in the brain. Aducanumab is a so-called monoclonal antibody (MAB) that stimulates the human immune system to break down the plaques that form in the brains of people with dementia.

Earlier this year, in January, the FDA approved lecanemab as another treatment for early Alzheimer's, also through the accelerated approval procedure because clinical trials have shown that it removes the sticky proteins in the brains of early stage Alzheimer's patients. Thus, it is "reasonably likely" that the treatment is effective.

The National Institutes of Health (abbreviated NIH) recently published a related study of lecanemab. See https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36449413/

In brief, the clinical trial had 1,795 participants with early-stage Alzheimer's. The results showed a 27% reduced clinical decline on the global cognitive and functional scale (abbreviated CDR-SB), compared with placebo treatment.

About Dr. Mateja de Leonni Stanonik

Mateja de Leonni Stanonik, MD, MA, PhD (former Surgeon General of the Republic of Slovenia) is the head of a multidisciplinary Neurology and Psychiatry Clinic, the Vita Medica Institute, in Tucson, Arizona. The focus of her current practice is stroke/vascular neurology, memory issues as well as women's issues within neurological disorders. On the web at https://drmatejadeleonnistanonik.com/

Vita Medica Institute, Tucson, Arizona
Dr. Mateja de Leonni Stanonik
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