Possible Early Antibody Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease

From the MIT Technology Review: "Alzheimer's patients given a drug that is already used to treat immune disorders saw their condition stabilize in a small study presented at a conference this week. Study participants were given the compound - known as intravenous Ig, or IVIg - for three years. During this period, they showed no signs of further cognitive decline or memory loss. ... All participants in the study had mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Only four received the optimal dose of IVIg over three years. These patients showed no decline from their baseline state in cognition, memory, daily functioning, or mood - all expected effects of the disease. Patients who initially received a placebo but were later switched to IVIg treatment declined more slowly while receiving the drug. IVIg [contains] a mixture of antibodies isolated from the pooled plasma of blood donated by healthy people. The assumption is that this blood by-product contains antibodies from the healthy donors that attack the damaged proteins in Alzheimer's patients. ... such results [should] inspire a large number of scientific studies aimed at identifying the functional ingredients in the immune mixture, so that others could potentially develop a synthetic form. ... I really do hope that it turns out to work, because then it gives a good platform to start finding out what components are in there, What is it in the IVIg - is it selective antibodies against beta-amyloid, against tau, or something else?"

Link: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428546/study-suggests-alzheimers-disease-can-be/

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