Antibody May Help Alzheimer's
Tau proteins are found in the neurons of the brain and when they become "phosphorylated" – that is, when they have phosphorous attached to them -- dementia such as Alzheimer's occurs. Now, according to MedPage Today, researchers have found that treatment with a monoclonal antibody "significantly lowered levels of phosphorylated tau (P-tau) in the cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer's patients." Monoclonal antibodies are created by immune cells that are clones of a parent cell, and the one that proved to help dementia sufferers is called bapineuzumab.
Kaj Blennow, MD, PhD of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and colleagues reported online in the Archives of Neurology that although their findings appear to show that the monoclonal antibody has some "downstream effects on the degenerative process," whether these effects will result in clinical improvements remains to be seen.
The drug they studied is currently being evaluated in a phase III trial following earlier setbacks.