WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — U.S. officials have approved another Alzheimer’s drug that can modestly slow the disease.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Eli Lilly’s Kisunla on Tuesday for mild or early cases of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.

It’s only the second drug that’s been convincingly shown to delay cognitive decline in patients, following last year’s approval of a similar drug from Japanese drugmaker Eisai.

The delay seen with both drugs amounts to a matter of months — about seven months, in the case of Lilly’s drug. Patients and their families will have to weigh that benefit against the downsides, including regular IV infusions and potentially dangerous side effects like brain swelling.

Physicians who treat Alzheimer’s say the approval is an important step after decades of failed experimental treatments.

Costs will vary by patient, based on how long they take the drug, Lilly said. The company also said a year’s worth of therapy would cost $32,000 — higher than the $26,500 price of a year’s worth of Leqembi.

More than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Only those with early or mild disease will be eligible for the new drug, and an even smaller subset are likely to undergo the multi-step process needed to get a prescription.

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