A drug that is commonly used for arthritis has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer s. A small randomised control study at the
Alzheimer s and other dementias affect 820,000 people in the
Etanercept works by blocking the effects of a protein in the blood called TNF? which is released by blood cells as part on the body s inflammatory response. Professor Holmes group has already shown that people with Alzheimer s that have high levels of active TNF? in their blood do worse than those who have very low levels. Etanercept acts to markedly reduce the active levels of TNF?.
Professor Holmes adds: A large number of anti-inflammatory approaches have been tried in patients with established Alzheimer s, but with little evidence of efficacy. There are very few studies that have come out with everything moving in the right direction. We have shown that a targeted approach against TNF? offers protection against the development of the disease. Our study was small and lasted for six months so it needs to be developed further, however our projections suggest that the benefits would continue. This now needs to be tested.
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