Like cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a distant land. -Proverbs 25:25
Want some really good news? There is a new treatment that looks promising!!!! I know, I know…we have been down this road before. BUT….
You may have received this from the Alzheimer’s Association today, but I have known about it a little longer. There is a new drug, called lecanamab, that shows “significant” promise in slowing early dementia/Mild Cognitive Impairment. After reading through some of the documents on the study, it seems useful. There is a mainstream scale of disease progression, if you will, called CDR (LINK), and **lecanamab causes an approximately ~0.5 (point, on a 5 point scale) difference in CDR-SB progression over 18 months versus a placebo. This scale considers many things and is mapped out thusly: (0 = absent; 0.5 = questionable; 1= present, but mild; 2 = moderate; 3 = severe; 4 = profound; 5 = terminal) although official materials stop at 3 as 5 possibilities.
Here was the release:
Here are my only slightly educated, armchair studier thoughts:
- Great news! Something that actually slows progression in early and pre-dementia! Woot!!
- It works hand-in-hand with another amazing discovery that has happened in the last couple of years: a blood test for biomarkers of the disease! This “PreCivityAD” test was developed by Randy Bateman and Dave Holtzman at our very own Washington University St. Louis. Read about this blood test…very cool. This will ultimately allow for much earlier “diagnosis” of the signs that we’d better start working on prevention measures, taking new therapies, and planning. Great news.
- It is different because the results are solid if not spectacular. .5 on the scale isn’t a cure…but it is a start. It is X number of months of good times instead of bad.
- Side effects are predictable and can be mitigated in most cases. “People on the medication experienced side effects such as brain swelling and tiny bleeds common with similar amyloid-targeting drugs. The study reported that 17% of people experienced small brain bleeds, compared to 8.7% in the placebo group. The side effects were detected in brain images but rarely caused symptoms.“
- It seems to undergird the slightly battered (Beta) Amyloid Hypothesis. If you missed it, there were a few lazy and/or greedy scientists that fudged some data and made some give up on that train of thought. Removing BA does seem like it helps, at least some, in this great news. Maybe the BA isn’t the cause, per se, but getting rid of it seems to be a positive at the least!
- It is expensive, but will come down: $9,249 to $35,605
- It makes me want to keep helping with clinical trials/research. I have participated in 13 now if my count is correct. Have CSF, will travel. 🙂 It makes me want to raise more money. Here is our Walk donation page. 🙂
- It is not a cure. It is not going to regrow brain mass, something my mom badly needs. It is, however, a start. 🙂
- To God be the Glory. 🙂 Don’t lose hope, friends!
- Some sweet day, even closer today than ever, we will #EndALZ
Update: Still fighting to get mom back on hospice. I will be there again today lovin’ on her and looking around for any change I can report so she can be reconsidered again…
** Just a note of apology to my 5th Grade teacher Mrs. W. for the fact that, for some reason, some drugs are NOT capitalized. I agree, Mrs. W., they need to rethink their lack of capitalization….