Enbrel Injection as an Alzheimers Cure

The Enbrel injection may offer hope as a new treatment for Alzheimer's patients. Since 1998, Enbrel (etanercept) has been used to treat people for rheumatoid arthritis along with other immune-based conditions. Arthritis patients receive the Enbrel injection in the thigh, stomach or upper arm, but Alzheimer's patients in a recent study received the injection in the spine. A medical facility in Los Angeles conducted the study using Enbrel on patients with Alzheimer's, and the results amazed them. Enbrel may not be a cure for Alzheimer's, but it could be a promising treatment option.

  1. One Study

    • According to Rxlist.com, a small six-month study was done on 12 people who had mild to severe stages of Alzheimer's. Dr. Edward Tobinick, director of the Institute for Neurological Research, a private medical facility in Los Angeles, California, injected Enbrel into the muscles surrounding the spinal cord of Alzheimer's patients. This delivers the drug straight into the nervous system. So far, this small study has undergone two phases with promising results, and researchers are considering a phase three clinical trial in the near future. Researchers don't know when the FDA will approve Enbrel but they plan more research.

    What Is Enbrel?

    • Enbrel blocks part of the body's immune system that makes the tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or TNF-alpha. Elevated levels of TNF-alpha may be what interferes with the regulation of neural impulses. This protein is critical to the immune system of the brain. Scientists believe that Alzheimer's may be due to an inflammation in the brain. They attribute this to the TNF-alpha secreted by glial cells in the brain that may contribute to this damage.

    Improvements From the Enbrel Injection

    • When a person has Alzheimer's disease his speech is often affected. Sometimes he has trouble finding the right words. Within a few minutes after receiving the Enbrel injection, there were noticeable improvements in the patient's conversation and comprehension abilities. He was better at naming things and following spoken commands. One patient didn't know what the current year was or what state he was in. Ten minutes after he received the injection, he could answer those questions. Another patient was asked to draw a clock showing a specific time. He drew a square instead. Two hours after the injection, he drew a round clock and the correct time.

    Warnings

    • People with rheumatoid, juvenile, idiopathic or psoriatic arthritis and other immune diseases should not take this drug or consider being tested. Enbrel lowers the immune system that fights infections, and some people have contracted tuberculosis.

      If you are prone to infection, have advanced diabetes or you have trouble controlling your diabetes, do not take Enbrel. People who have an infection or are allergic to any of Enbrel's ingredients need to avoid this drug.

    Amgen Manufactures Enbrel

    • The company Amgen manufactures Enbrel. As of 2009, the FDA has not approved Enbrel for people with Alzheimer's. Enbrel needs more testing for possible side effects, but researchers are encouraged because the drug has shown exciting promise. Maybe in time they will have gathered enough information to approve it for people with Alzheimer's.

      According to Science Daily, Dr. Tobinick owns stock in Amgen and has pending patents describing the potential use of Enbrel in treating Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.

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