Friday, November 21, 2008

Growth Hormone Boost May Not Slow Alzheimer's

'US News&World Report

Friday, November 21, 2008

promising approach in mice disappoints in human trial

By Alan MozesHealthDay Reporter
A compound that boosts growth hormone levels in Alzheimer's patients may not slow the disease, new research suggests

The study, funded by drug giant Merck, was spurred by promising animal research that had suggested that the compound, called MK-677, might help curb Alzheimer's effect on the brain.
However, "the study suggests that targeting this hormone system may not be an effective approach at slowing the rate of Alzheimer's disease progression," said study author Dr. J.J. Sevigny, associate director of clinical neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories in North Wales, Pa. His team reported its finding in the Nov. 18 issue of Neurology.
"In a similar vein, the study challenges a commonly held theory that hormones may attack beta-amyloid plaque in the brain," Sevigny added. "That was the premise of this research: that by giving this medication we'd be able to influence the whole thing

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