Lecanemab, Donanemab, Drug-Free Strategies Emerge as New Weapons Against Dementia
By Suzanne Leigh
UC San Francisco experts say that we have reached a pivotal point in Alzheimer’s disease research, 30 years after the first pharmaceutical came to market. On Jan. 6, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to give accelerated approval of lecanemab – one of the first drugs to attract widespread enthusiasm among neurologists, after showing positive phase 3 results in slowing the progression of early-stage disease.
The UCSF-tested drug is a monoclonal antibody, a lab-made protein, that targets amyloid plaques that accumulate between neurons and disrupt cell function, setting off a cascade of events that ultimately lead to memory loss.
We asked UCSF experts from the Memory and Aging Center, the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to share their insights on Alzheimer’s therapies on the horizon, some of which may be effective even before symptoms emerge, as well as drug-free interventions that may prevent or slow the disease.
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