To obtain the proof of concept of a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we conducted two prospective studies with hemodialysis patients who had amyloid β protein (Aβ) removed from their blood three times a week. One major pathological change in the brain associated with AD is Aβ deposition, mainly 40 amino acids Aβ1–40 and 42 amino acids Aβ1–42. Impaired Aβ clearance is proposed to be one cause of increased Aβ in the AD brain. Thus, we hypothesized that an extracorporeal removal system of Aβ from the blood may remove brain Aβ and be a useful therapeutic strategy for AD. In the first prospective study, plasma Aβ levels and the cognitive function of 30 hemodialysis patients (65–76 years old) were evaluated at baseline as well as 18 or 36 months after. Although plasma Aβ1–40 levels either decreased or remained unchanged, levels of Aβ1–42 either remained unchanged or increased at the second time point. Mini-Mental State Examination scores of most subjects increased or were maintained at the second time point. Aβ1–40 influx into the blood correlated with MMSE at the second time point. In the second prospective study, five patients (51–84 years old) with renal failure were evaluated before and after the initiation of hemodialysis. Plasma Aβ levels decreased, while cognitive function improved after initiating blood Aβ removal. Therefore, long-term hemodialysis, which effectively removes blood Aβ, might alter Aβ influx and help maintain cognitive function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry