The latest issue of Life Extension Magazine (August 2008) contains an encouraging report about off-label use of etanercept (commercial name: Enbrel) to reverse the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Etanercept is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker that is used to treat diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Pilot studies and case reports not only reported improved cognitive function after weekly perispinal administration (injection into the back of the neck) of etanercept, but rapid clinical improvements have also been observed within minutes of administration of the drug in at least one person, a result that the Life Extension Foundation (LEF) reportedly was able to reproduce in a pilot study of a 91-year-old female patient with advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
The Life Extension Foundation (LEF) is currently seeking to launch an expanded study to investigate the effects of weekly Enbrel injections plus nutrients that help suppress the production of excess TNF-alpha in people who have early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Although the normal costs of weekly injections is around $675, LEF will not charge people enrolled in the studies for these treatments. Patients who have, or people who know someone with, early-stage Alzheimer’s disease are encouraged to contact LEF for enrollment. The study will be conducted in the Fort Lauderdale area in south Florida.
Future installments of this blog will review the research on TNF-alpha modulation for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in more technical detail. We also recommend a recent article on long-term brain maintenance on the blog Existence is Wonderful, which also discusses cryonics in a favorable context.