Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study

This could be an important research finding for adults with DS!

Reversal Of Alzheimer's Symptoms Within Minutes In Human Study 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

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

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

Adapted from materials provided by University of Arkansas for Medical

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