Patient First at Center to Receive Drug Outside of Clinical Research for Treatment of Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

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 getting first dose of new medicine.

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.”

About the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health 
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which opened in 2009, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body, frontotemporal and other dementias; Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, multiple system atrophy and other movement disorders; and multiple sclerosis. With locations in Cleveland, Ohio; Weston, Florida and headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, the center offers a continuum of care with no-cost opportunities for the community to participate in education and research, including disease prevention studies and clinical trials of promising new medications. An integrated entity, Keep Memory Alive, raises funds exclusively in support of the Nevada location.

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries.