Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hope from Alsheimer's Pill

Daily pill that halts Alzheimer's is hailed as 'biggest breakthrough against disease for 100 years' | Mail Online

I found this article very encouraging. i have some experience with this disease and it is a heartbreaking and cruel affliction. Watching a formerly brilliant mind slowly deteriorate into blank confusion is devastating for friends and relatives as well as the poor victim. Progress on a cure or preventive drug is great news.

Related: From Bloomberg

By Michelle Fay Cortez

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Baxter International Inc.'s drug for immune system disorders also shows promise for treating Alzheimer's disease, a small company-funded study found.

Baxter's Gammagard boosts the body's natural defenses with antibodies extracted from human blood. It's now given to patients who don't make their own version of the immune system cells needed to prevent infections. Early research suggests it may attack certain proteins, called beta amyloid, that cluster around nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

In a study of 24 patients, those who received injections of the drug did better than those first given a placebo on tests of mental and physical function. The benefit increased with time, with Gammagard patients scoring 5.4 points higher than placebo patients on a 7-point scale of cognitive ability after nine months, the researchers said. Some of the very first patients to test the therapy are doing well years later, researchers said.

``We have patients now four and five years out who are still where they were when they started'' using Gammagard for Alzheimer's, Norman Relkin, a neurologist who in April reported positive findings for patients after six months, said in a telephone interview. ``Compared with what we can do now with available drugs, that's quite remarkable.''

3 comments:

laird said...

This is good, good news. Maybe it will be available by the time I need it.

BBL Jr said...

I need it now. what were we talking about?

lonek8 said...

excellent news for me! hopefully it will be available in pill form over the counter by the time I need it. of course, I might as well get a jump on things and start as soon as possible!