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These participants, like the first group, received the full battery of mood, cognition and functional-ability assessments.Only a single, minor instance of a trial-related adverse event — excessive itching — occurred.

“I’m excited to see that giving repeated infusions of plasma to elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease is safe and that we can move forward to larger studies,” Wyss-Coray said.

Is communication the key to long-lasting relationships? The former James Bond star credits the language barrier for the longevity of 30-year marriage to his French wife, Micheline.

Results from the PLASMA trial, short for Plasma for Alzheimer’s Symptom Amelioration, were presented Nov.

4 at the 10 annual Clinical Trial on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in Boston by Sharon Sha, MD, a clinical associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford and the trial’s principal investigator.

Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have reported success in an early-phase clinical trial examining the safety, tolerability and feasibility of administering infusions of blood plasma from young donors to participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

There were also some signs suggesting improvements in participants’ conditions.Then, after a six-week “washout” period, the regimens were reversed: Those initially receiving plasma got four weekly infusions of placebo, and vice versa.“Those participants served as their own controls,” said Sha.Sha said this wasn’t entirely unanticipated, as it can arise as a side effect of the infusion of any blood product.Another participant had a stroke, but this was considered unrelated to the treatment; the participant had received only four infusions of saline and, furthermore, had suffered the stroke at the end of the ensuing washout period, during which no infusions of any kind were administered.“Our enthusiasm concerning these findings needs to be tempered by the fact that this was a small trial,” Sha said.“But these results certainly warrant further study.” Alkahest has stated in a news release that based on the safety profile and signals of efficacy seen in the PLASMA trial, it is planning to advance the clinical development of a next-generation, proprietary plasma-derived product for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.These newcomers all received young-donor plasma infusions, and they and their caregivers, as well as the administrators, all knew it.This change cut the time between the first and final visits to 10-12 weeks for the second group of participants, and required commensurately fewer trips.Alkahest holds intellectual property associated with the treatment regimen. In the first stage, nine participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were given four weekly infusions either of plasma — the liquid, cell-free part of blood — obtained from donors 18-30 years old, or of placebo (a saline solution).Wyss-Coray, a co-founder of the company and chair of its scientific advisory board, continues to work full-time at Stanford. Neither the participants nor those administering the infusions knew which of the two infusions any given participant was getting.

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