Immunotherapy retains cognitive function, ADLs, Alzheimer’s study shows

Immunotherapy has shown encouraging results in preventing cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s, according to study results announced at the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

The study involved giving intravenous doses of immunoglobulin (IVIG), a blood product containing high quantities of antibodies, to participants who had mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease.

Participants who received the IVIG twice a month had no notable decline in memory, ADLs, cognition or mood even after three years, the study team reported.

Those who had been given a placebo at first and then the IVIG later exhibited less decline once they switched to the treatment.

"This is the first study to report long term stabilization of Alzheimer's symptoms with IVIG," said study leader Norman Relkin, MD, PhD, of New York's Weill Cornell Medical College. "While the small number of participants may limit the reliability of our findings, we are very enthusiastic about the results. A Phase 3 trial is in progress and, in less than one year, we'll have more definitive data on the efficacy of 18 months of IVIG treatment."

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Clinical , Executive Leadership