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Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study
Science Daily ^ | 1-8-2008 | University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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 Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s disease. The study focuses on one of these cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha(TNF), a critical component of the brain’s immune system. Normally, TNF finely regulates the transmission of neural impulses in the brain. The authors hypothesized that elevated levels of TNF in Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s.

The new study documents a dramatic and unprecedented therapeutic effect in an Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s, 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 Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s research a tremendous new clue about new avenues of research, which is so exciting and so needed in the field of Alzheimer’s. 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 Alzheimer’s.”

While the article discusses one patient, many other patients with mild to severe Alzheimer’s received the treatment and all have shown sustained and marked improvement.

The new study, entitled “Rapid cognitive improvement in Alzheimer’s disease following perispinal etanercept administration,” and the accompanying commentary, entitled “Perispinal etanercept: Potential as an Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s 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.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aging; alzheimer; alzheimers; brain; disorders; reversal; study
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1 posted on 01/09/2008 2:14:23 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

It is my great hope that one of these days Alzheimer’s will be just a vague memory...


2 posted on 01/09/2008 2:15:38 PM PST by Hegemony Cricket (Although most dead people vote democrat, aborted babies, if given the choice, would vote Republican.)
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To: Hegemony Cricket
It is my great hope that one of these days Alzheimer’s will be just a vague memory...

Or completely forgotten?

3 posted on 01/09/2008 2:19:31 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Hillary Clinton: Cankles, Cackle, and Cuckold.)
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To: blam
This, if hopes are realized, may rank with Sir Alexander Fleming and his penicillin research. Noble work. A bit over the top on my part, but I must put my reaction down.

God be praised.

4 posted on 01/09/2008 2:20:48 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: blam

Wow! I get a google news alert on Enbrel, but nothing on this has come up yet. Thanks!


5 posted on 01/09/2008 2:21:09 PM PST by fightinJAG ("Tell the truth. The Pajama People are watching you.")
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To: Hegemony Cricket
It is my great hope that one of these days Alzheimer’s will be just a vague memory...

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.

6 posted on 01/09/2008 2:21:18 PM PST by Wolfstar (Circular firing squads do not kill the enemy. They kill us.)
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To: blam

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...


7 posted on 01/09/2008 2:21:49 PM PST by dandelion
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To: Hegemony Cricket

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?


8 posted on 01/09/2008 2:23:20 PM PST by Callahan
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To: blam

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 >


9 posted on 01/09/2008 2:26:50 PM PST by Ditto (Global Warming: The 21st Century's Snake Oil)
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To: blam

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.


10 posted on 01/09/2008 2:32:29 PM PST by fishergirl (My warrior, my soldier, my hero - my son. God bless our troops!)
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To: blam

btt


11 posted on 01/09/2008 2:36:04 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Bellflower; Bittersweetmd

ping!


12 posted on 01/09/2008 2:38:56 PM PST by sjeann
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To: blam

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.


13 posted on 01/09/2008 2:39:28 PM PST by CholeraJoe ("At last my arm is complete!" Sweeney Todd)
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To: blam
OMG. I worked on the team that brought Enbrel (Etanercept) to market. It's been for rheumatoid arthritis until now but when I was onboard the head of research used to like to wave a paper around with over a hundred possible indications on it.

Crossing my fingers on this one. BTT.

14 posted on 01/09/2008 2:39:59 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: blam

If we cure Alzheimer’s, what will the advocates of Embryonic Stem Cell Research use to justify the destruction of human embryos?


15 posted on 01/09/2008 2:40:58 PM PST by gridlock (300 Million Americans will not be elected President in 2008. Hillary Clinton will be one of them.)
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To: CholeraJoe

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.


16 posted on 01/09/2008 2:41:51 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Hegemony Cricket

My dad 73 has been diagnosed with the disease recently. This is great news as watching someone deteriate with this disease is heart wrenching.


17 posted on 01/09/2008 2:44:07 PM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: fishergirl

“...we’ve 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.


18 posted on 01/09/2008 2:44:12 PM PST by MayflowerMadam
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To: Billthedrill

bttt


19 posted on 01/09/2008 2:45:10 PM PST by Guenevere (Duncan Hunter...President '08)
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To: Peter Libra

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.


20 posted on 01/09/2008 2:46:30 PM PST by Loud Mime ("If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George S. Patton)
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To: CholeraJoe

It’s not clear from the article how often Enbrel would have to be administered to sustain the effect.

However, whatever the cost of the drug, I’m sure it would be nothing compared to the cost of providing nursing home care for these patients-—and never mind the human cost of the disease.


21 posted on 01/09/2008 2:49:25 PM PST by fightinJAG ("Tell the truth. The Pajama People are watching you.")
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To: MayflowerMadam; fishergirl

I know where you’re coming from. The way we handled it was we asked our love one to see a “specialist” and told her it did not mean giving up her beloved GP at all. Through this line of reasoning, we were able to add in the care of someone who actually had a clue what he was doing.


22 posted on 01/09/2008 2:51:21 PM PST by fightinJAG ("Tell the truth. The Pajama People are watching you.")
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To: CholeraJoe
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.

What is the current treatment cost? I'd think it would be far more than a half bil.

23 posted on 01/09/2008 2:52:48 PM PST by decimon
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To: blam

My ex’s dad has advanced AZ. I’m forwarding this article to my ex.


24 posted on 01/09/2008 2:52:53 PM PST by Steve_Seattle (|)
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To: CholeraJoe

A drop in the bucket compared to what we give countries that hate our guts.


25 posted on 01/09/2008 2:53:07 PM PST by fish hawk (The religion of Darwinism = Monkey Intellect)
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To: blam

Results today for AMGEN

47.65+1.32 / +2.85% Jan 09


26 posted on 01/09/2008 2:53:49 PM PST by Signalman
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To: Billthedrill

I take this stuff, well the very similar Remicade, which works against TNF-alpha. Remicade is infused using an IV. Enbrel is similar and is self-injected, I think subcutaneously.

The method described here is a spinal-column injection. I doubt there would be any off-label prescriptions that would allow that method until approved that way.

The stuff has been miraculous for my arthritis!


27 posted on 01/09/2008 2:54:34 PM PST by NDpapajoe (Way to go Ohio, We're all Buckeye Fans now!)
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To: fightinJAG

In RA it’s usually twice a week. FWIW.


28 posted on 01/09/2008 2:56:29 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: CholeraJoe

compared to the cost of lingering in a nursing home for ten years? might be a bargain


29 posted on 01/09/2008 2:57:25 PM PST by tioga
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To: Billthedrill

I wonder if it would have any effect on autism.


30 posted on 01/09/2008 2:57:35 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day (A Black Belt in the Art of Babble.)
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To: CholeraJoe

Is the high cost of dosage related to recovering research and development costs, or is it just real expensive to produce? If the former, the costs should go way down over time, especially if the drug has an unanticipated application for AZ disease, which would dramatically increase the demand.


31 posted on 01/09/2008 2:57:37 PM PST by Steve_Seattle (|)
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To: blam

Wow. Now that’s news. GOOD news and this treatment can be accomplished without aborting babies and harvesting parts.


32 posted on 01/09/2008 2:58:31 PM PST by Integrityrocks
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To: MayflowerMadam

Don’t get mad at the Doc, as there is really not much he can do. Aricept is the drug of choice these days, but the Docs I’ve talked to don’t think it is very effective.

I’ve seen this disease up close with my mother in law and now with my 90 year old mother. It is so painful to watch the deterioration.

Anyone with a family history should keep exercising his brain as much as he can.


33 posted on 01/09/2008 2:59:58 PM PST by Oldhunk
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To: decimon

There no good medical treatment for it, just custodial care which is usually private pay or covered by Medicaid.


34 posted on 01/09/2008 3:01:16 PM PST by CholeraJoe ("At last my arm is complete!" Sweeney Todd)
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To: Steve_Seattle
Is the high cost of dosage related to recovering research and development costs, or is it just real expensive to produce?

Probably both. Enbrel's been around about six years I think, so it's got a few years before the patent runs out. It will never get cheap, though.

35 posted on 01/09/2008 3:04:35 PM PST by CholeraJoe ("At last my arm is complete!" Sweeney Todd)
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To: blam

This means I could get my Grandmother back.

Praise God


36 posted on 01/09/2008 3:06:08 PM PST by Peter W. Kessler (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: Interesting Times

Ping for potentially very good news.


37 posted on 01/09/2008 3:06:15 PM PST by zot
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To: blam

Amgen (AMGN: NASDAQ) closed up $1.32 today. That’s the maker.


38 posted on 01/09/2008 3:08:53 PM PST by CholeraJoe ("At last my arm is complete!" Sweeney Todd)
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To: Hegemony Cricket

If you get alzheimer’s, it will be.


39 posted on 01/09/2008 3:10:33 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: blam

Worth a (fingers crossed) WOW!


40 posted on 01/09/2008 3:12:39 PM PST by aculeus
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To: Callahan

I inevitably think of Reagan whenever Alzheimer’s comes up. There are an incredibly tiny number of mortal men I consider to be heroes, people genuinely worthy of mass adoration. For me, Reagan is at the top of that list. He was a genuinely great man and I (notorious in my small world for being unemotional) can easily tear up when watching any kind of show about him.

MM (in TX)


41 posted on 01/09/2008 3:13:43 PM PST by MississippiMan
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To: Steve_Seattle
It's difficult to produce. It isn't synthesized in a yeast cell, where you can ramp up production in industrial-sized vats. It's produced in a mammalian cell (CHO, or Chinese Hamster Ovary) that is much more difficult to keep active and clean in large batches. So you have to build lots of small reactors to produce the stuff.

You have to keep this stuff incredibly pure because it's used in such small amounts with such large systemic effects. That costs, too.

42 posted on 01/09/2008 3:14:03 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: fightinJAG

Nursing Homes here is SW Virginia are going for 4K to 6K a month. This is a drug that if it worked, it could save Medicare. Hopefully the FDA will fast track this drug. One funny side effect will be what happens when the patieats memory returns, They are going to be pissed to find out their house got sold to pay for their nursing home care.


43 posted on 01/09/2008 3:23:12 PM PST by ClayinVA
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To: blam

http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/08/news/companies/alzheimers/index.htm?source=yahoo_quote


44 posted on 01/09/2008 3:28:30 PM PST by RXSalesman
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To: Loud Mime
I hope this works. Our family is dealing with my father right now.

Right with you. One hopes like the wonder drugs Streptomycin and Penicillin, the financial cost will not be prohibitive. It would pay government to factor in the eventual savings, should Alzheimers be halted. As a WW2 veteran, your father must have seen quite a lot of life and his memories would have been a mainstay.

I had an ingrowing abcess in the shoulder bone at 15 years of age in 1947. I was told that three years earlier, I would have faced an amputation. Forty years earlier, very likely my demise. Scotsman Fleming is my man of the century. Penicillen saved me. Plus surgery.

My respects and well wishes to your father.

45 posted on 01/09/2008 3:29:35 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: Hegemony Cricket

lol


46 posted on 01/09/2008 3:30:46 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: gridlock
If we cure Alzheimer’s, what will the advocates of Embryonic Stem Cell Research use to justify the destruction of human embryos?

The multi-billion-dollar infanticide industry and chief laundromat for Democrat campaign dough will come up with something.

47 posted on 01/09/2008 3:33:46 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: blam

Wow, hope it’s true. My maternal grandmother died of this. It was horrible, and it took forever. In the end, she had the cognition of a mouse, maybe less. Didn’t recognize anyone or anything and didn’t understand a thing going on around her — and was scared out of her wits by it all. No one deserves that. Well, maybe bin Laden.


48 posted on 01/09/2008 3:35:49 PM PST by LibWhacker (Democrats are phony Americans)
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To: dandelion

But they give it intrathecal, right in the spinal cord and the docs may not do that. But man, this is exciting isn’t it?


49 posted on 01/09/2008 3:39:18 PM PST by cajungirl
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To: CholeraJoe
A dose of Enbrel costs about $900

I'd work extra or overtime if one of my parents (long gone now) needed it.

50 posted on 01/09/2008 3:40:26 PM PST by Ace's Dad ("but every now and then, the Dragon comes to call")
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