New Intravenous Treatment Stops Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's
Stabilization of Alzheimer’s disease, including the prevention of further decline in cognition, memory, daily functioning and mood, was reported in patients treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) over 3 years, according to a study at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
The 4 patients, who each received 0.4 g/kg of IVIG every 2 weeks for the full 36 months, showed no decline in scores after being evaluated using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale, the Clinical Global Impression of Change index, the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and other standards of measurement.
The treatment was mostly “generally well-tolerated”, said Norman Relkin, MD, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Adverse side effects were mostly mild infusion-related reactions. More serious side effects were also reported, including a stroke in one patient.
Decline in untreated Alzheimer’s patients is normally expected within 3 to 6 months, Relkin said.
"If we have a patient who goes out to 18 or 24 months without changing, usually we begin to doubt that they have Alzheimer's disease. If we have two patients like that in our practice, we begin to doubt our own diagnostic prowess. To have four patients... all of whom are effectively unchanged after 3 years, is a remarkable result,” he concluded.