Study examines immunotherapy and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in patients with Alzheimer's disease

April 2, 2012, JAMA and Archives Journals

Immunotherapy with the antibody bapineuzumab in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease resulted in decreases in a cerebrospinal fluid biomarker, which may indicate downstream effects on the degenerative process, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology.

Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by, among other things, deposits of extracellular β-amyloid (Αβ) plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles with accompanying decreases in (CSF) Αβ and increases in CSF tau proteins. Bapineuzumab is an anti-Αβ monoclonal antibody, and immunotherapy with against Αβ is one of the major disease-modifying therapeutic approaches being evaluated for AD, the authors write in their study background.

Kaj Blennow, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues conducted a combined analysis of two double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that included 46 patients with mild to moderate AD. A total of 27 patients were treated with bapineuzumab and 19 with placebo. The researchers evaluated whether bapineuzumab affected the CSF levels of the downstream biomarkers, total tau (T-tau) and phosphorylated tau (P-tau), and the primary biomarker Αβ in the completed trials.

"The reduction in the downstream CSF P-tau following treatment with bapineuzumab suggests that bapineuzumab reduces brain levels of P-tau, which may also reduce the formation of tangles in the brain," the authors note.

Although there was a reduction in CSF T-tau, it did not reach statistical significance compared with placebo. No clear-cut differences were observed for CSF Αβ, the study results indicate. But the observed decrease in both P-tau and T-tau require further examination, the authors note.

"An important question remains whether such changes in CSF biomarkers correlate with clinical benefit. This question will be addressed in the ongoing bapineuzumab phase 3 trials," the authors conclude.

Explore further: Clinical trial examines antioxidant effects for Alzheimer's disease on cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers

More information: Arch Neurol. Published online April 2, 2012. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2012.90

Related Stories

Clinical trial examines antioxidant effects for Alzheimer's disease on cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers

March 19, 2012
An antioxidant combination of vitamin E, vitamin C and α-lipoic acid (E/C/ALA) was not associated with changes in some cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers related to Alzheimer disease in a randomized controlled trial, according ...

Changes seen in cerebrospinal fluid levels before onset of Alzheimer dementia

January 2, 2012
Cerebrospinal fluid levels of Aβ42 appear to be decreased at least five to 10 years before some patients with mild cognitive impairment develop Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia whereas other spinal fluid levels seem to ...

Recommended for you

Anxiety: An early indicator of Alzheimer's disease?

January 12, 2018
A new study suggests an association between elevated amyloid beta levels and the worsening of anxiety symptoms. The findings support the hypothesis that neuropsychiatric symptoms could represent the early manifestation of ...

One of the most promising drugs for Alzheimer's disease fails in clinical trials

January 11, 2018
To the roughly 400 clinical trials that have tested some experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease and come up short, we can now add three more.

Different disease types associated with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains found in Alzheimer's patients

January 9, 2018
An international team of researchers has found different disease type associations with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains in the brains of dead Alzheimer's patients. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National ...

Advances in brain imaging settle debate over spread of key protein in Alzheimer's

January 5, 2018
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer's disease - and hence that blocking its spread ...

Molecular mechanism behind HIV-associated dementia revealed

January 5, 2018
For the first time, scientists have identified and inhibited a molecular process that can lead to neurodegeneration in patients with HIV, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Nature Communications.

Mice with frequent flier miles advance the Alzheimer's cause

January 4, 2018
Alzheimer's disease wreaks emotional havoc on patients, who are robbed of their memories, their dignity, and their lives. It's financially devastating as well: care for Alzheimer's patients is predicted to top $1 trillion ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.