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'Arthritis medication could help reverse Alzheimer's symptoms'

'Arthritis medication could help reverse Alzheimer's symptoms'
10th January 2008

An arthritis medication could reverse some of the early symptoms of Alzheimer's, with the first improvements being evident within ten minutes, according to new research.

A study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation details how an 81-year-old man showed marked improvements to his memory after receiving etanercept injections.

Etanercept, which is normally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is injected into the spine and previous studies had shown it to have an almost immediate effect.

The participant in this particular case study was deemed noticeably calmer and more attentive after receiving the medication.

Researchers also noted that he could remember a number of details including his address, the day of the week and the names of some animals.

Rebecca Wood, of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, told the BBC: "This is promising and innovative research but in the early stages and further work is needed before we can conclude etanercept could work as a treatment for Alzheimer's.

"We need to investigate whether it is safe and works in a larger number of patients as well as monitor the long-term effects.

Meanwhile, recent research from the US has suggested that children have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life if they are exposed to lead at a young age.

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