07:21am Wednesday 16 October 2019

New application of old drug provides promising results for people with Alzheimer’s disease

The GAP (Gammaglobulin Alzheimer’s Partnership) Study will examine the safety, effectiveness and tolerability of Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV) in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer ’s disease. IGIV has been used successfully for more than 20 years to treat people with autoimmune and immunodeficient disorders.


“The GAP study seeks to follow-up on promising findings from earlier, preliminary studies suggesting that the treatment might be helpful to those with Alzheimer’s disease,” said William Burke, M.D., professor of psychiatry and vicechair for research in the department of psychiatry at UNMC.


Recent results from a small 18-month study done at Weill Cornell Medical College showed improvements in overall function, cognition and brain imaging in those who received the treatment.


The GAP study is being conducted by the Alzheimer ’s Disease Cooperative Studies (ADCS) group, which is funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health.


“We are excited to join the ADCS in the effort to evaluate this potential treatment. The preliminary results are promising, but it is important to note that only a small number of people were involved,” Dr. Burke said. “The current study should allow us to better understand this approach to treatment.”


The GAP study involves 360 participants at 38 sites nationwide over a period of 82 weeks. Eligible participants must be between the ages of  50-89, have been diagnosed with probable mild to moderate Alzheimer’s, in good general health and have a study partner who is in contact with the participant at least 10 hours or more a week.


For more information call 402-552-6005 or email unmcprc@unmc.edu.


As the state’s only academic health science center, UNMC is on the leading edge of health care. Breakthroughs are possible because hard-working researchers, educators and clinicians are resolved to work together to fuel discovery. In 2009, UNMC’s extramural research support topped $100 million for the first time, resulting in the creation of 3,600 jobs in Nebraska. UNMC’s academic excellence is shown through its award-winning programs, and its educational programs are responsible for training more health professionals practicing in Nebraska than any other institution. Through its commitment to education, research, patient care and outreach, UNMC and its hospital partner, The Nebraska Medical Center, have established themselves as one of the country’s leading health care centers. UNMC’s physician practice group, UNMC Physicians, includes 550 physicians in 50 specialties and subspecialties who practice primarily in The Nebraska Medical Center. For more information, go to UNMC’s Web site at www.unmc.edu.


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