“Game-changer” “Unprecedented” New drug hailed to ward off Alzheimer’s disease

Really, if the hype surrounding Aducanumab, a newly tested drug that creates antibodies that attach to amyloid brain plaque, were a dietary supplement it would be buried in the archives of published medicine.  But it is the new blockbuster drug being hailed at NATURE, the world’s top science journal.  But conclusive data is still 4 years away.  And there is a side effect – excess fluid on the brain.  Other amyloid antibody drugs have been tried before without much success.  The news report about Aduncanumab does say 15% of Alzheimer’s disease patients experience a build up of plaque in their brain without symptoms of mental decline.  So what is the public left to conclude?  [Daily Mail UK Sept 1, 2016]

Nature magazine report the drug broke up amyloid proteins in patients’ brains with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.  [Nature Sept 1, 2016]  A 10 milligram dose per kilogam (2.2 lbs.) of body weight (about 700 milligrams for a 70 kilogram  (154-lb) adult, abolished beta amyloid from the brain of test subjects.  [Fierce Biotech Sept 1, 2016]

A report in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease says while higher dose Aducanumab worked better at eradicating beta amyloid from the brain it also increase side effects. [Journal Alzheimer’s Disease March 2016]  Since a significant number of older adults will exhibit beta amyloid plque buildup in brain scans but will not develop Alzheimer’s memory loss, the use of brain scans to diagnose whether subjects should be prescribed Aducanumab would lead to a lot of overtreatment.

As reported by this investigator previously, other researchers point to micro-sized blood clots and resultant inflammation induced by iron-generated free radicals as the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. [Frontiers Human Neuroscience Oct 2013]  Dysregulated iron (unbound iron) has been cited as a cause of Alzheimer’s disease and iron chelators have been proposed as antidotes.  Unbound iron then gives rise to infections in the brain as bacteria utilize iron as a growth factor.  [Journal Alzheimer’s Disease June 2016]

Both copper and iron chelators are proposed as therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. [Accounts Chemical Research May 19, 2015]

While physicians are searching for a reliable blood marker for Alzheimer’s disease, high blood iron-storage (ferritin) levels are associated with the disease. [Frontiers Aging Neuroscience Dec 2013; July 2015]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *