“It means you don’t want to hit Abeta with a sledgehammer,” Dr. Tanzi said. “It says what we need is the equivalent of a statin for the brain so you can dial it down but not turn it off.”
My point. What if you gave Bexarotene to a person suffering from Alzheimer's and it erased too much plaque?
Some of you might be familiar with the cleaning product known as the Magic Eraser . The Magic Eraser removes stains like magic. When I say remove, I mean gone.
So herein lies a real risk if you decide to give Bexarotene to a real live person. You might destroy their brain, or maybe kill them. Now, since humans are already taking the drug to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (a type of skin cancer) those risks might not be high. But, how can we know?
No one knows right now if Bexarotene will work in humans for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We don't know anything about dosage, frequency, or for how long a person might take the drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's.
There is some good news. A trial of 12 people will start shortly to begin to answer some of these questions.
Here is what Dr. Gary Landreth, Professor of Neurosciences, Alzheimer Research Laboratory Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, said,
"Don't try this at home because we don't know what dose to give, we don't know how frequently to give it, and there are a few nuances to its administration. So one shouldn't be prescribing it off-label."
I will admit, I am tempted to buy Bexarotene off-label for my mother, Dotty. I mean what is the risk? She is almost 96 years old, and in an advanced stage of Alzheimer's. On the other hand, I must ask myself, what are the consequences if I harm or kill her? Those consequences aside, would I be able to live with myself if I harmed her?
My conclusion. Not for us at this time. Nevertheless, I continue to think about it. I bet you are too.
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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,261 articles with more than 402,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room