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Understanding Lecanemab for Early Alzheimer's Treatment

May 09, 2024
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Lecanemab is a newer medication approved for the treatment of early Alzheimer's. DCND is answering some of the top questions regarding this drug.

What is Lecanemab?

Lecanemab or Leqembi is a medication approved for the treatment of early Alzheimer's. It's an IV infusion that targets and removes beta-amyloid in the brain. 

What did the trial show?

Lecanemab was not shown to be a cure but it did slow down the progression when taken in the early stages. There were side effects shown in the trial including ARIA (Amyloid Related Imaging Abnormalities) either inflammation of the brain or a bleeding on to the brain. Most patients were able to stay on the drug after discovering this side effect but some did have to stop.

How expensive is this medication?

This medication is pricey at over $25,000/ year. There is also an additional cost for testing. Leqembi Copay Assistance Program can be reached at 833-453-7362. This medication may be covered by CMS (Medicare). 

Who is a candidate? This is for patients in the early stages of mild cognitive imparment or early mild dementia. Patient must also have amyloid present. A  PET scan or spinal tap is required to show that. 

Patient cannot be on a blood thinner and must be able to get an MRI. Your provider may also order additional tests to determine if you are at an increased risk for the side effect, ARIA.

This drug is infused once every 2 weeks at the DCND infusion center. 

Your doctor will need to help determine if you are an appropriate candidate. 

More information here: