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New Drug May Help Combat Alzheimer's
Date:8/6/2008

Rapid improvement in verbal abilities, word finding, and aphasia in Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia following initiation of a new immune treatment is reported. These findings may be related to immune regulation of brain function, providing an exciting new area for Alzheimer research.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 5, 2008 -- Rapid improvement of aphasia and word-finding difficulties, beginning within minutes of administration of an immune molecule, was presented last week at ICAD 2008(1), the world's leading forum on dementia research. Aphasia means difficulty or inability to use or understand language, causing problems with speech, reading, or writing and interfering with the daily activities of living. Disruption of language function, such as the ability to find words, is a common symptom in advancing Alzheimer's disease, and constitutes an enormous unmet medical need.

This report, also recently published in the Medscape Journal of Medicine(2), extends and confirms similar findings from a prospective, six month, 12 patient pilot study recently published in BMC Neurology(3), and additional reports in the Journal of Neuroinflammation(4) and Current Alzheimer Research(5). Each of these peer-reviewed studies focuses on the effects of perispinal administration of etanercept in dementia. Etanercept is an immune molecule which inactivates excess levels of an immune cytokine called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This use of perispinal etanercept for dementia and Alzheimer's is beyond the FDA label (off-label). Etanercept is FDA-approved for treating certain forms of arthritis and a skin disorder in both children and adults.

TNF is a critical component of the brain's immune system which finely regulates the transmission of neural impulses between brain cells. The lead author of this study, Edward Tobinick MD(6), hypothesized that in Alzheimer's and related forms of dement
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