Effectiveness of Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) Therapy in Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
The search for a therapeutic option to successfully combat and ultimately prevent Alzheimer's disease is ongoing. Research efforts have identified the beta amyloid (Aß), protein as the component of plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. It is believed that IVIG may contain antibodies that help promote the clearance of Aß from the brain and block the toxic effects. Treatment may result in the stabilization or improvement in patient’s with Alzheimer's disease.
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Although IVIG is not currently approved to treat Alzheimer's disease, a study with 35 academic institutions in cooperation with the NIH and the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Group are currently engaged in a Phase III clinical trial to try and confirm the encouraging results of several small early studies using IVIG that have been reported. In the earlier trials it was shown that patients tolerated IVIG therapy with minimal side effects and most patients had a stabilization of their cognitive abilities with a few patients demonstrating a significant improvement in cognitive ability.
In 2005, researchers at the New York‐Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center concluded the first clinical study that suggests that IVIG may stabilize or improve cognitive function in Alzheimer patients, when administered over a period of a year or more. To learn more about this study, please go to: http://nyp.org/news/hospital/1060.html
How does a patient qualify to receive IVIG for Alzheimer’s Disease?
IVIG for a patient with Alzheimer’s is prescribed by a physician following appropriate evaluation of the patient. Appropriate treatment for each individual Alzheimer's patient varies, therefore, it is up to the physician to make the determination as to whether IVIG is an acceptable treatment option. Unfortunately, because IVIG is not yet an FDA approved indication for Alzheimer's disease (it is considered “off-label”), most insurance companies will not provide coverage for IVIG for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is the IVIG dose for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease?
Research into the dosing and frequency is in its early stages. The general dosage is between 1g/kg to 2g/kg every 2 weeks or 4 weeks or monthly depending on the prescribing physician's orders.
I have a family member who is interested in participating in the clinical trial of IVIG for Alzheimer’s disease. How can we get more information?
The clinical trial for IVIG for Alzheimer’s may be currently recruiting participants.
You can get more information about the study at:
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