Navigation Links
Alzheimer's Treatment Shows Promise in Small, 3-Year Trial
Date:7/17/2012

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- An immune-based drug therapy using blood plasma antibodies has stalled the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a small group of patients receiving the therapy over three years.

A phase 2 trial carrying 16 of 24 participants from an earlier study suggested a slower-than-expected deterioration in their thinking abilities, behavior and daily function with twice-monthly infusions of intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIg. Four of the patients who had received a standardized dose throughout the 36 months showed no decline on standard measures of cognition, memory, daily functioning and mood.

"When [Alzheimer's patients are] untreated, there are typically measurable declines every three to six months . . . so for four to be stable over a three-year period is very much unexpected," said study author Dr. Norman Relkin, director of the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, in New York City. "And while that's not enough to say this is an effective drug, it is encouraging. There have been so many disappointments, I don't want to create false hope, but I'm very encouraged."

Relkin is expected to present his findings Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Alzheimer's Association, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Alzheimer's disease affects about 5 million Americans, with an estimated 35 million worldwide suffering from dementias that encompass Alzheimer's. Current treatments, including donepezil (Aricept) and memantine (Namenda), sometimes ease symptoms temporarily, but nothing on the market can halt or cure the devastating condition.

IVIg, known by the brand name Gammagard and already used clinically to treat certain immune deficiencies, cancers and autoimmune disorders, is thought to slow down or prevent the buildup of toxic beta-amyloid proteins, which cause the sticky brain plaques that distinguish Alzheimer's.

Infusions with IVIg demonstrated a sliding scale of effectiveness in the 16 patients. Five participants who initially were treated with an inactive placebo and then switched to IVIg experienced decline while on placebo but showed a less rapid decline after 18 months of IVIg infusions. Eleven patients who received varying doses of IVIg experienced more favorable outcomes, with the best results among the four patients treated with a specific standardized dose (totaling 0.4 grams per kilogram of body weight) every two weeks for the duration of the study.

"I think this is really exciting, but the numbers are very small," said Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "We just need more [patients] and more time. I really hope the results pan out over the long term."

Relkin is in the midst of a phase 3 trial of IVIg with about 400 participants and expects to release results early next year. He predicted that some Alzheimer's patients and their doctors would seek IVIg as an "off-label" treatment since it is already available commercially.

But the therapy doesn't come cheap: Treating Alzheimer's with IVIg would likely cost between $2,000 and $5,000 every two weeks, with higher doses (and costs) reserved for heavier patients, Relkin said.

His current phase 2 trial indicated that the treatment is well-tolerated by patients (minor side effects included rash, chills and headache) and the drug already has a well-established safety profile, he noted.

"I think this gives us a clear direction in terms of our efforts to develop better, more effective and less costly treatments," Relkin said. "Right now, as a field we've been floundering for that direction. Most importantly, the impact of the study would give us a clear Achilles' heel for Alzheimer's -- something we can target and use to alter the underlying disease course."

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Health Assistance Foundation has more information on Alzheimer's-related amyloid plaques.

SOURCES: Norman Relkin, M.D., Ph.D., director, Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; Catherine M. Roe, Ph.D., assistant professor, neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; July 17, 2012, presentation, Alzheimer's Association annual meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientist awarded $1 million grant to develop tools for hepatitis C treatment discovery
2. Clinical insight improves treatment with new lung cancer drug
3. Rapid Asthma Treatment in ER May Prevent Admission
4. Novel compound demonstrates anti-leukemic effect in zebrafish, shows promise for human treatment
5. Breast cancer patients suffer treatment-related side effects long after completing care
6. Mayo Clinic offers newly approved treatment for acid reflux disease
7. Mobile Stroke Units Might Trim Time to Treatment
8. Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects May Last for Years
9. Mouse Study Hints at New Path for Diabetes Treatment
10. Symptomatic behaviour in childhood strongly predicts psychiatric treatment as a young adult
11. Exercise improves quality of life during breast cancer treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Alzheimer's Treatment Shows Promise in Small, 3-Year Trial
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... The Price Agency in Birmingham, AL ... assist the people of their local community. The agency pledges to select a ... Their desire is to bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... San Rafael, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 06, 2016 , ... ... offer an overnight youth rugby camp held at Oregon State University this summer. Employing ... designed to benefit athletes of all skill levels with training on key fundamentals, match ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... Fat-Freezing, which is what today’s popular ... the most popular among body sculpting options, according to a new survey of ... Dr. Richard Buckley, medical director of MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center. ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... From the Speaker Podium ... Technology will share its insights on managing Customers Engagement at SpeechTek 2016 Event, ... 2016, Presence Technology will deliver a Presentation on “5 Customer Engagement Strategies ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... Multiple award winning plumbing company in ... 35 years. Maintaining core values of exceptional customer service, quality work at reasonable rates, ... leading name in San Diego plumbing, and other services including heating & air conditioning ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Research ... "Global Acute Ischemic Stroke Market and Competitive ... offering.       (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... Ischemic Stroke Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights ... Stroke pipeline products, Acute Ischemic Stroke epidemiology, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 4, 2016 Global ... pages, profiling 09 key companies and supported with ... and in-depth study on the current state of ... of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and ... is provided for the international market including development ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  As a teenager, an active and athletic ... his heart. He continued enjoying sports and recreation throughout ... heart was giving out and he was a few ... the Mesa, Arizona resident received ... heart transplant, the SynCardia TAH-t is the only approved ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: