Skip to comments.Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study
Posted on 01/09/2008 2:14:21 PM PST by blam
Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study
PET Scan of Alzheimer's Disease Brain. (Credit: NIH/National Institute On Aging)
ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2008) An extraordinary new scientific study, which for the first time documents marked improvement in Alzheimers disease within minutes of administration of a therapeutic molecule, has just been published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.
This new study highlights the importance of certain soluble proteins, called cytokines, in Alzheimers disease. The study focuses on one of these cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha(TNF), a critical component of the brains immune system. Normally, TNF finely regulates the transmission of neural impulses in the brain. The authors hypothesized that elevated levels of TNF in Alzheimers disease interfere with this regulation. To reduce elevated TNF, the authors gave patients an injection of an anti-TNF therapeutic called etanercept. Excess TNF-alpha has been documented in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimers.
The new study documents a dramatic and unprecedented therapeutic effect in an Alzheimers patient: improvement within minutes following delivery of perispinal etanercept, which is etanercept given by injection in the spine. Etanercept (trade name Enbrel) binds and inactivates excess TNF. Etanercept is FDA approved to treat a number of immune-mediated disorders and is used off label in the study.
The use of anti-TNF therapeutics as a new treatment choice for many diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and potentially even Alzheimers, was recently chosen as one of the top 10 health stories of 2007 by the Harvard Health Letter.
Similarly, the Neurotechnology Industry Organization has recently selected new treatment targets revealed by neuroimmunology (such as excess TNF) as one of the top 10 Neuroscience Trends of 2007. And the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives has chosen the pilot study using perispinal etanercept for Alzheimers for inclusion and discussion in their 2007 Progress Report on Brain Research.
The lead author of the study, Edward Tobinick M.D., is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles and director of the Institute for Neurological Research, a private medical group in Los Angeles. Hyman Gross, M.D., clinical professor of neurology at the University of Southern California, was co-author.
The study is accompanied by an extensive commentary by Sue Griffin, Ph.D., director of research at the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock and at the Geriatric Research and Clinical Center at the VA Hospital in Little Rock, who along with Robert Mrak, M.D., chairman of pathology at University of Toledo Medical School, are editors-in-chief of the Journal of Neuroinflammation.
Griffin and Mrak are pioneers in the field of neuroinflammation. Griffin published a landmark study in 1989 describing the association of cytokine overexpression in the brain and Alzheimers disease. Her research helped pave the way for the findings of the present study. Griffin has recently been selected for membership in the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a nonprofit organization of more than 200 leading neuroscientists, including ten Nobel laureates.
It is unprecedented that we can see cognitive and behavioral improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention, said Griffin. It is imperative that the medical and scientific communities immediately undertake to further investigate and characterize the physiologic mechanisms involved. This gives all of us in Alzheimers research a tremendous new clue about new avenues of research, which is so exciting and so needed in the field of Alzheimers. Even though this report predominantly discusses a single patient, it is of significant scientific interest because of the potential insight it may give into the processes involved in the brain dysfunction of Alzheimers.
While the article discusses one patient, many other patients with mild to severe Alzheimers received the treatment and all have shown sustained and marked improvement.
The new study, entitled Rapid cognitive improvement in Alzheimers disease following perispinal etanercept administration, and the accompanying commentary, entitled Perispinal etanercept: Potential as an Alzheimers therapeutic, are available on the Web site of the Journal of Neuroinflammation.
Author Hyman Gross, M.D., has no competing interests. Author Edward Tobinick, M.D. owns stock in Amgen, the manufacturer of etanercept, and has multiple issued and pending patents assigned to TACT IP LLC that describe the parenteral and perispinal use of etanercept for the treatment of Alzheimers disease and other neurological disorders, including, but not limited to, U.S. patents 6015557, 6177077, 6419934, 6419944, 6537549, 6982089, 7214658 and Australian patent 758523.
Adapted from materials provided by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
It is my great hope that one of these days Alzheimer’s will be just a vague memory...
Or completely forgotten?
God be praised.
Wow! I get a google news alert on Enbrel, but nothing on this has come up yet. Thanks!
Sounds like a wonderful breakthrough. I share your hope about Alzheimer's, and add the same sentiment about cancer, that one day it will be just a vague memory.
This treatment is available NOW! There is a strong possibility that anyone who loves an Alzheimer patient could ask for - and get - their GP to prescribe this drug to great effect right away.
It truly could be a moment to praise God for all who are fighting this terrible disease...
It always amazes me to think Reagan changed history and accomplished more than most could ever dream (for the better) and ended up unable to recognize himself in the mirror. Alzheimer’s really is the cruelest disease. What else do you have but your memories?
This simply can’t be. Politicians have told us they need to spend billions for embryonic stem cell research to cure Alzheimer’s (and Parkinson’s and Cancer and toe fungus and ..... ) < / s >
Thanks for this article. My mother-in-law suffers from Alzheimers. However, it would probably take an act of Congress to get her stupid GP to try anything like this. A few weeks ago he took her off her Alzheimers meds, some kind of “trial and error” thing. She immediately began to get worse. She’s back on the medication now, but, to me, this would definitely be worth trying. Her GP is an idiot. And believe me - we’ve tried to get both she and my father-in-law to change doctors, but to no avail.
Oh man is this going to cost alot! A dose of Enbrel costs about $900. If everyone with Alzheimer’s gets one shot per month, that’s $45 million a month or half a billion per year.
Don’t count on Medicare being solvent when we get ready for it.
Crossing my fingers on this one. BTT.
If we cure Alzheimers, what will the advocates of Embryonic Stem Cell Research use to justify the destruction of human embryos?
I don’t think Medicare covers it at present, or at least it didn’t last time I checked. Self-administration issue. I might not be current on that, though.
My dad 73 has been diagnosed with the disease recently. This is great news as watching someone deteriate with this disease is heart wrenching.
“...weve tried to get both she and my father-in-law to change doctors, but to no avail.”
Same here, with my in-laws. Dad has Alzheimers. They like their GP and continue to go to him although he does nothing pro-active to help the situation. They LIKE him. He’s NICE. He smiles, says, “uh huh”, takes their money, and they go away until next month. Then they do it all over again. We can’t change their minds.
I hope this works. Our family is dealing with my father right now. WWII and Korea vet and hardly remembers what happened two minutes ago.
I pray this works.