Immunotherapy Tied to Lower Alzheimer’s CSF Biomarkers

(HealthDay News) – For patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, immunotherapy treatment with the anti-β-amyloid (Aβ) monoclonal antibody bapineuzumab results in lower concentrations of two cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers: total (T)-tau and phosphorylated (P)-tau, according to a study published online April 2 in the Archives of Neurology.

Kaj Blennow, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg in Mölndal, Sweden, and colleagues conducted two 12-month multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials involving 46 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease to determine whether bapineuzumab has an effect on CSF biomarkers.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that bapineuzumab-treated patients had reduced levels of the CSF biomarkers T-tau and P-tau compared with baseline. The observed differences between bapineuzumab- and placebo-treated patients were statistically significant for P-tau (P=0.03), and there was a trend toward significance for T-tau (P=0.09). The differences for CSF Aβ were not clear cut.

“To our knowledge, this study is the first to show that passive Aβ immunotherapy with bapineuzumab results in decreases in CSF T-tau and P-tau, which may indicate downstream effects on the degenerative process,” the authors write. “Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers may be useful to monitor the effects of novel disease-modifying anti-Aβ drugs in clinical trials.”

The authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Elan and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which funded the study.

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