Conference Roundup

Plasma exchange with albumin shows potential as Alzheimer’s treatment

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Plasma exchange with albumin replacement may potentially slow cognitive and functional decline in patients Alzheimer’s disease, according to findings published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia and presented simultaneously at the virtual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

In this phase 2b/3 trial, 496 patients were randomized to receive 1 of 3 plasma exchange groups with different doses of albumin and intravenous immunoglobulin replacement or placebo.

Patients treated with plasma exchange had significantly better changes from baseline of Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study–Activities of Daily Living (DCS‐ADL) with a trend for Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale scores at month 14 than those receiving placebo. Patients with mild‐to‐moderate Alzheimer’s disease saw a 60% decline in ADCS‐ADL and ADAS‐Cog scores. Patients treated with plasma exchange also experienced a 71% decline in Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes scores.

This study provides encouraging results in the treatment of symptomatic AD patients,” the authors wrote. “These findings have the potential to offer AD patients with overt dementia a new modality of treatment, although additional studies are needed to further investigate the current study areas of uncertainty.

The authors note that additional studies are needed.

Boada M, Lopez O, Olazaran J, et al. A randomized, controlled clinical trial of plasma exchange with albumin replacement for Alzheimer’s disease: Primary results of the AMBAR Study. Alzheimers Dement. 2020; https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12137.