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Alzheimer's drug 'shows rapid language improvement'

Alzheimer's drug 'shows rapid language improvement'
21st July 2008

A novel immune-based approach in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease has apparently shown a rapid improvement in patients' language-based skills.

The anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) drug was shown to have a positive effect on verbal abilities within minutes of being administered, according to the research published today in the open-access journal BMC Neurology.

It is suggested by the researchers that increased levels of TNF-alpha seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients interferes with the regulation of neural impulses.

Lead author of the study Edward Tobinick pointed out that the results have limitations as it was not a controlled trial, but added "the scientific rationale for the further investigation of anti-TNF-alpha treatment of Alzheimer's disease is compelling".

He said the behavioural and cognitive improvement associated with the medicine has been confirmed by independent observers and family members.

Meanwhile, a separate study published in the Lancet suggests a drug previously used as an antihistamine in Russia has shown encouraging results with Alzheimer's patients.

Researchers said Dimebon is the first Alzheimer's drug to show continued improvement in patients over a 12-month period.

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