What is new Dementia medication donanemab?

Donanemab is currently in the headlines as a drug that appears to slow down memory and thinking decline in people living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what we know so far about this Alzheimer’s drug.


  1. In the last year, we have heard of two new drugs, lecanemab and donanemab, which can slow down the decline in memory and thinking skills of people living with early Alzheimer’s disease.

    Does donanemab work?

    Donanemab is a disease-modifying treatment. This means that rather than only relieving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it tackles one of the root causes.

    New results released in July 2023 showed that donanemab works better the earlier it is given.

    Donanemab slowed how fast memory and thinking get worse by more than 20%. The evidence from the trial suggests that the earlier in the disease the treatment was given, the greater the benefit. This means that there was more slowing in memory and thinking decline in people with fewer changes in their brains associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    This means a delay in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by 4.5-7.5 months over the 18 months of the trial.

    Also after one year on donanemab, nearly half of the people taking it had no decline in memory and thinking skills.

    People taking donanemab also had a 40% reduction in the decline of their ability to carry out daily activities, such as managing finance, driving and carrying out hobbies.

    These are exciting results, but we don’t fully know what this will mean in the long term for people who have taken donanemab as the trial only lasted 18 months.

    Also, 91.5% of the participants in the trial were from a white background, so we need more diversity in clinical trials to prove that these drug treatments will work for everyone with early Alzheimer’s disease.

    Source: Alzheimer Society


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top