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Winter 2023

The new year started with more news about the Alzheimer’s disease drug lecanemab, with an announcement on January 6 that the drug received accelerated approval from the FDA. As dementia care providers, this means we are likely fielding questions from patients and probably have many questions ourselves. 

Read on to find links to the FDA statement about the drug, links to interviews that my colleagues and I have given about it, and information related to the related AHEAD study, currently ongoing in my research lab. Further in this issue, we have links to information about another drug being investigated, donanemab. 

We know this is a critical topic that many community members have pressing questions about. We are awaiting more information about its use, cost and availability, safety and any adverse effects and more.

We were glad to connect with many of you at the 20th Annual Update in Alzheimer's and Related Dementia hosted by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute (WAI) in November. Videos from that program are linked in the message below. Thanks for reading!

- Cindy


Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS
Louis A. Holland, Sr., Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease
Department of Medicine
Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology
News and Links about Lecanemab

Lecanemab in early Alzheimer’s disease in New England Journal of Medicine:
“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.”

Dementia Matters special episode about lecanemab 
On a video episode of Dementia Matters, Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS, and Sterling Johnson, PhD, joined Nathaniel Chin, MD, and discussed findings from the lecanemab phase 3 clinical trials. Watch now.

FDA statement about lecanemab

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid statement about lecanemab

Upcoming Events

9th Annual Breaking the Silence 
April 21, 2023
Italian Community Center, Milwaukee, WI

Join us in person! Breaking the Silence: Addressing Dementia in Communities of Color is an annual event held in recognition of Minority Health Month. Hosted by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute Regional Milwaukee Office, bringing together national and regional experts in research, caregiving, health equity and health care to increase awareness and break the stigma around dementia in communities of color. Find out more

Info Sessions
April 25 - May 9, 2023
Multiple locations

The Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP) is hosting in person educational and appreciation events this spring. Faculty and staff from the study will travel to La Crosse, Milwaukee, Neenah and Madison to share updates about research findings and Alzheimer’s disease news with research participants. Events include a lunch and opportunity to meet together. Study participants are invited to attend and to bring friends or family with them. Please visit for details and to RSVP.

UW Research Opportunities

We encourage readers to share news about our open studies with clients. Study flyers and contact information are posted on the study websites for you to distribute. 

LUCINDA is a clinical research trial to determine whether leuprolide can slow or prevent decline in thinking abilities and functioning in women with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease who are also taking the medication donepezil. 

The AHEAD Study tests whether intervening AHEAD of symptoms may prevent future memory loss and dementia. The AHEAD Study is the first research study that aims to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease by enrolling participants as young as 55 and using a tailored dosing approach.

UW Dementia Research News

Dr. Nathaniel Chin helps create toolkit for clinicians to detect and diagnose dementia
Researchers, including Nathaniel Chin, MD, created a guide for clinicians to help remove barriers to early detection and diagnosis of cognitive impairments such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, and related dementias. Read the full article and download the toolkit on the AIMS Press website.

Watch Now
If you missed the 20th Annual Update in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia, we invite you to watch now! Keynote topics included Mild Cognitive Impairment, addressing cultural realities facing Black caregivers, and promoting physical activity in older Latinos.
Dr. Mora Pinzon appointed assistant professor, expands research program
Congratulations to Maria Mora Pinzon, MD, MS, on her recent appointment to assistant professor on the tenure track in the division of geriatrics and gerontology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where she will continue working with the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute and expand her research program.

UW Study focuses on Alzheimer's disease treatment and prevention in the black community
African Americans Fighting Alzheimer's in Midlife (AA-FAIM) study is entering its second, five-year cycle, with a continued focus on making Alzheimer’s research more inclusive. Researchers will do brain imaging and other tests with 500 African American volunteers to document whether amyloid buildup is linked to disease progression.


National Dementia Research News

Blood test for early Alzheimer’s disease detection
An NIH-funded research team led by Valerie Daggett at the University of Washington developed a method to detect toxic beta-amyloid oligomers in patients’ blood.

Donemab shows greater ability to approve clear amyloid plaques than aducanemab
Using flortaucipir F18 PET scans, 37.9% of donanemab-treated participants achieved amyloid clearance at 6 months compared with 1.6% of those on aducanumab. Findings presented at CTAD from  the phase 3 TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 4 study.

Effectiveness of exercise in Alzheimer’s disease 
A review found evidence that aerobic physical exercise on its own or combined with strength and balance exercise showed evidence of its use as a tool in the management of patients with Alzheimer’s disease; with the aim of maintaining and/or improving physical-functional capacity and cognitive performance. 

Resources for Dementia Care Professionals

Wisconsin Dementia Resource Network 
Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute

Abstracts from Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference
Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

Overview of Geroscience: The intersection of aging and disease
National Institute on Aging

Copyright © 2023 Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, All rights reserved.

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