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

a consequence of accelerated brain cell death. This shrinkage of brain tissue causes the fluid-filled ventricles at the center of the brain to enlarge at a faster than normal rate. Changes in the size of the brain and ventricles can be measured accurately by analyzing results from two or more MRI scans obtained at an interval of at least several months apart.

The unprecedented reductions in these measures after IGIV reported by Dr. Relkin and his colleagues could indicate that IGIV exerts a disease-modifying effect that the current generation of approved AD treatments lack.

Dr. Relkin also found that rates of brain shrinkage after IGIV intervention were independent of the subject's age, gender and brain volume at the start of the study but strongly correlated with dose of IGIV and the clinical outcomes after 18 months of intervention.

The Weill Cornell research team also found that AD patients who responded best to IGIV did not measurably decline over 18 months, and had an average rate of brain shrinkage and average rate of ventricular enlargement comparable to the rate previously reported in normal elderly individuals. "A dose-related effect of an Alzheimer's intervention on brain ventricular enlargement has never been seen before, and it suggests that IGIV may, indeed, be sparing brain tissue," says Dr. James Brewer, a neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the University of California at San Diego.

Dr. Brewer independently analyzed the MRIs from the Phase II IGIV study, and his findings closely matched those obtained by Dr. Dana Moore, a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Relkin at Weill Cornell. "I am particularly looking forward to examining the Phase III data when that study is completed," Dr. Brewer states. "Since it involves a considerably larger group of patients, it will permit us to obtain more detailed measures of atrophy in the brain regions specifically vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease."


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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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