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May 02, 2005

Antibody Injections Reduce Alzheimer's Plaques in Mice

HealthCentral reports that researchers have successfully reduced Alzheimer's-related, beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of mice. The research performed at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago used injections of antibodies against the beta-amyloid protein plaques, which are associated with the development of Alzheimer's dementia.
The mice in this study were genetically engineered to develop both early and late-stage Alzheimer's disease, characterized by a build-up of protein plaques in the brain.

A single intraventricular (into the brain's ventricles) injection of antibodies against beta-amyloid reduced the amount of amyloid in mice brains by about 70 percent, even in mice with a fairly severe stage of Alzheimer's, the researchers found.

There was no sign of serious inflammatory problems in the brain, they added. This type of antibody-linked inflammation had occurred in earlier studies, when injections were delivered into the bloodstream outside the brain.

According to the researchers, their results suggest periodic antibody injections may prove an effective means of rapidly reducing pre-existing amyloid plaques and associated inflammation. They hope such a treatment might someday yield a new means of preventing or successfully treating Alzheimer's.


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