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Another Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Falls Short

There is disappointing news in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. A medication based on natural antibodies and already in use under the name Gammagard was no better than placebo at slowing cognitive decline and maintaining functional ability in Alzheimer’s disease patients. The manufacturer Baxter is discontinuing its study of this medication in Alzheimer’s disease because of the lack of detectable benefit.
The immune globulin had been expected to remove amyloid and keep it from forming plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Other anti-amyloid antibody treatments have also fared poorly in clinical trials. Two other drugs that were designed to counter amyloid buildup in the brain have also failed to demonstrate significant slowing of cognitive decline. This means that neuroscientists may have to go back to the drawing board on their hypotheses about what causes Alzheimer’s disease and how to treat it.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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