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Investigational immune intervention slows brain shrinkage in Alzheimer's patients
Date:4/13/2010

TORONTO (April 13, 2010) -- An investigational intervention using naturally ocurring antibodies in human blood has preserved the thinking abilities of a group of mild- to moderate-stage Alzheimer's patients over 18 months and significantly reduced the rate of atrophy (shrinkage) of their brains, according to a study performed at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. These and other findings from the Phase II clinical trial of GAMMAGARD LIQUID and GAMMAGARD S/D Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) (IGIV) for Alzheimer's disease (AD) were presented today at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting in Toronto.

In a Late-Breaking News presentation at the AAN on Wednesday, April 14, at 7:30 am, Dr. Norman Relkin, director of the Memory Disorders Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, will report that patients receiving IGIV once or twice a month for 18 months had significantly lower rates of ventricular enlargement (6.7% vs 12.7% per year) and less whole-brain atrophy (1.6% vs 2.2% per year) than control subjects who initially received placebo. Dr. Relkin's findings were based on two independent analyses of brain-imaging data from 20 patients who underwent serial MRI scans during the Phase II study of IGIV for AD.

"Past AD studies that used MRI measures found no change or an accelerated rate of brain shrinkage after investigational treatments," Dr. Relkin notes. "To the best of my knowledge, this is the first trial in which long-term clinical benefits in Alzheimer's patients were accompanied by objective signs of reduced brain degeneration." Dr. Relkin is also an associate professor of clinical neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He was the principal investigator in the Phase II study and is currently leading a multicenter Phase III study of IGIV for Alzheimer's.

A typical AD patient's brain shrinks three to four times faster than a healthy older adult's as
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Contact: John Rodgers
jdr2001@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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