Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Antibody treatment shows promise for Alzheimer's

As people's Alzheimer's disease progresses their brain shrinks and the fluid-filled ventricles at the centre of the brain increase in volume. Researchers at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center have been using a naturally-occuring antibody found in people's blood to arrest this process and, in a small-scale trial, have had some success. In a study of 20 patients the researchers gave half of them the antibody and half a placebo. After 18 months the patients were given an MRI brain scan and a series of cognitive tests. The group given the antibody had much less enlargement of their ventricles (6.7% vs 12.7%) and slightly less brain shrinkage (1.6% vs 2.2%). Those who received the antibody - IGIV - showed significantly less decline in their overall functioning and thinking abilities than the group given the placebo.

1 comment:

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