ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A new drug can slow the effects of Alzheimer’s, according to a report published Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Lecanemab is one of the first experimental dementia drugs to appear to slow the progression of cognitive decline. For patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the drug slowed the rate of cognitive decline by 27%.

“So, lecanemab released its findings yesterday at a conference in San Diego,” said Sarah Lovegreen, vice president of programs at the Alzheimer’s Association. “What they found is that the drug is meeting its endpoint. It clears amyloid away from the brain, enough that it is actually slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Association said it welcomes and encourages the full Phase 3 data from lecanemab. The organization said that there are around 300 Alzheimer’s treatments that are in clinical trials.

The news is big for millions of Americans with dementia or Alzheimer’s, a disease with no cure.

“It is huge,” Lovegreen said. “It gives people more time. It is the first effective treatment that we’re seeing coming forward. We had Aduhelm, that’s FDA approved, but not widely available to consumers. So, this may be a better option to patients who have malcognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s to receive treatment to slow that disease.”

About 1,800 adults, ages 50 to 90, with mild cognitive impairment due to early Alzheimer’s disease took part in the trial for lecanemab.