Alzheimer’s Drug Accelerates Brain Atrophy

As we continue to search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers are finding new ways to treat and manage the condition. Sometimes, that research moves us forward, and sometimes that research moves us in uncertain directions.

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of MRI data, published in Neurology, found that anti-amyloid therapies for Alzheimer’s disease could accelerate brain atrophy. Just to be clear atrophy, or shrinkage, is not a good thing.  This research is particularly important for individuals who may have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease and are concerned about their own long-term brain health.

Editor’s Note: What’s about to follow here is a bit “scientific.”  That’s okay, we’ll get through this together.” 😊

The review focused mainly on two types of anti-amyloid drugs: secretase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. The study found each type had it’s own “type” of effect. Secretase inhibitors had a prominent effect on volume changes in the hippocampus and whole brain, while monoclonal antibodies led to accelerated ventricle enlargement, this was especially true of those antibodies that caused amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA). The frequency of ARIA was strongly correlated with the degree of ventricular enlargement, which is a classic marker of neurodegeneration.

To cover a few terms that we just tossed out…

Ventricles are hollow spaces inside the brain.  We all have them. We just don’t want them to grow.

Hippocampus is a complex brain structure located deep in the temporal lobes of our brains.  It plays a key role in learning and memory formation.  Stimulating environments cause the hippocampus to grow.

To many researchers and providers, brain shrinkage—whether through a loss in brain volume or an increase in ventricle size—is typically associated with Alzheimer’s progression. Why it occurs after treatment with anti-amyloid drugs isn’t known.

These findings raise questions about clinical trial data on brain volume and ARIA that concern us. Researchers are unsure whether people who developed ARIA had greater volume changes, which brain regions are most affected, the clinical characteristics of those at risk, and whether these changes are related to cognitive and non-cognitive clinical outcomes.

We’ll leave you with this, because we know this for certain.  Individuals who are concerned about their long-term brain health, particularly those with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, should be aware of the potential risks and benefits of anti-amyloid therapies. While these therapies have shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, they may also have unintended consequences, such as accelerated brain atrophy. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs and circumstances.

About Entavida

Known for our successful outcomes, the team at Entavida uses an integrative, functional healthcare viewpoint informed by advanced lab testing and your personal story.

Our proven approach to diagnosing and resolving chronic health issues recognizes that lasting health depends on resolving the underlying root causes of your symptoms. Click here to learn more »

Unique Approach

At Entavida, we look at the body in a complete manner. We evaluate systemic imbalances, from immune function to gut and brain health. This allows us to address the underlying causes of your frustrating symptoms that keep you from feeling your best.

We empower you with lifelong health skills and therapies that can help you conquer health challenges. Click here to learn more about our approach.

Your Next Steps

After you have reviewed the information on our website and in our downloadable guides, we’d love to hear from you! We are also available to answer more specific questions about our approach.

Simply apply for a free discovery consult with our patient coordinator at 720.741.7853 or via our online appointment scheduler.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram