On Nov. 2, 2023, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health marked a milestone in Alzheimer’s disease care by administering its first infusion of the anti-amyloid drug, lecanemab (LEQEMBI®), for the treatment of mild Alzheimer’s disease.
In conjunction with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas administered its first dose of lecanemab in a clinical setting following the drug’s traditional approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July.
As one of the leading and largest Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial sites in the country, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has taken part in the phase 3 CLARITY study of lecanemab since 2020 and continues to study the drug in the ongoing AHEAD trial for individuals at risk for dementia. The center is the only site for both studies in the state of Nevada.
Dan Harrington, a 64 year old living with Alzheimer’s disease, is originally from southern California and moved to Las Vegas six years ago specifically to receive care at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. He and his wife, Andrea, are grateful to have the opportunity to try this new treatment.
“Since I started in this field 20 years ago, patients and their families have often asked, ‘If this is Alzheimer’s, you can’t even slow it down, right?’ Today, I can say, ‘Wrong. A treatment is now available for this disease that is different from anything that was available before,” said Dylan Wint, M.D., director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “This drug won’t solve the Alzheimer’s crisis, but it represents a significant step forward, slowing progression of the disease and delaying some of its devastating symptoms.”
The milestone marked the first time outside of its research program that the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s infusion center has administered a therapy that is proven to slow Alzheimer’s disease progression, not just treat its symptoms.
“We’re really excited about this. If it’s a few months more, then we have a few months more,” said Andrea Harrington. “We can continue to make memories, enjoy what we have and do what we can. We’re really grateful.”
Harrington continued, “There’s so much hope. If we can help somebody else who is out there and let them know that there is hope, try and don’t be afraid, that’s what we’ll do.”