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IV Immunoglobulin Treatment May Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

Study finds 42 percent lower risk for patients treated with IVIg than for untreated controls

TUESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Prior treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) for indications not having to do with Alzheimer's disease may lower the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease-related disorders (ADRD), according to a study in the July 21 issue of Neurology.

Howard Fillit, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues assembled medical claims data from a national database on 847 patients 65 years or older who had received one or more IVIg treatments for an indication other than Alzheimer's disease. The study group and a large, matched control group of 84,700 subjects that did not receive the IVIg treatment were followed for the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and ADRD.

The researchers found that in the Kaplan-Meier analysis, the patients treated with IVIg had a lower incidence of ADRD compared to the control group at 60-month follow-up (estimated 2.6 versus 4.6 percent). In the Cox proportional hazards model, the IVIg-treated patients had a 42 percent lower risk of receiving an ADRD diagnosis (hazard ratio, 0.577) compared to the control group. The IVIg-treated group had an estimated 2.8 percent incidence of ADRD compared to 4.8 percent in the control group.

"Previous treatment with IV immunoglobulin was associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and related disorders in this study. Evidence from additional studies is needed to evaluate the relationship between IVIg exposure and ADRD diagnosis," the authors write.

Several of the study authors reported receiving research support or compensation from Baxter Bioscience or SDI.

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