UH involved in Alzheimer’s experimental drug study showing positive gains

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 12:10 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -It was announced this week, the experimental drug lecanemab has shown positive gains as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Some of the research into the drug and its impact on memory loss, or cognitive decline, is being done here in Northeast Ohio at University Hospitals (UH) Memory and Brain Health Center.

“Most people have been or will be touched by Alzheimer’s disease—whether it’s family members, friends, neighbors or colleagues. The AHEAD Study presents a tremendous opportunity to possibly get ahead of the disease before it starts,” said Alan Lerner, MD, neurologist and Alzheimer’s disease researcher at UH.

Research was published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), reporting a 27% reduction in the decline of memory loss.

There is a hesitation to fast track the drug because of some possible serious side effects.

It’s reported that 14% of those in the phase 3 study had to discontinue taking lecanemab because of serious adverse effects.

The most common side effects among that group was brain swelling or brain bleeding that showed up in MRIs.

In the conclusion of the article published in the NEJM is state’s, “Lecanemab reduced markers of amyloid in early Alzheimer’s disease and resulted in moderately less decline on measures of cognition and function than placebo at 18 months but was associated with adverse events. Longer trials are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease.”

According to a news release from UH the study is looking for volunteers.

“The study has a priority to enroll people who reflect the diversity of the United States and people at the greatest risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease,” the release said.

There are more than 100 study locations worldwide, including University Hospitals.

For more information, visit AHEADStudy.org or contact UH: email: neuroresearch@uhhospitals.org phone: 216 464 6215