Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The 8 person Alzheimer's study: immunoglobulin

Health News Article |

In a non-randomized, non-blinded, uncontrolled phase-1 6 month safety study of immunoglobulin therapy in 8 people with Alzheimer's, 6 showed improvement in cognitive measures, 1 stayed the same and 1 worsened.

The main reason there's "excitement" about this result is that it's a reworking of an immunization intervention that looked very promising but had toxic side-effects. Practically, since immunoglobulin therapy is FDA approved for other conditions, if this intervention does have value it could come to market much sooner than many other novel therapies.

The overall good news, as a scientist noted in an NPR interview, is that we can induce Alzheimer's in mice and we can cure it in mice. Of course we can cure a lot of things in mice that we can't treat in humans, but the research scene is encouraging.

If we can substantially delay the onset of Alzheimer's type dementia in the boomers, then both the social security and medicare problems will "go away". It will not be hard then to extend the retirement age to 70.

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