Individuals With Lewy Body Dementia May be Eligible For Study of Neflamapimod Shown to be Effective Toward Alzheimer Disease 

  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Neflamapimod
  • Parkinson disease

Individuals with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) may be eligible for a study (NCT04001517) of a treatment that was found to be effective in Alzheimer disease (AD), according to results of ongoing studies. Early studies found that individuals with AD and rheumatoid arthritis experienced improvements in response and memory while taking neflamapimod. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted fast-track designation to neflamapimod (EIP Pharma, Cambridge, MA) treatment for DLB. Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, principal investigator and director of Pacific Neuroscience Research Center, and Melita Petrossian, MD, director of the Pacific Movement Disorders Center, are leading the 21-week phase 2 double-blind trial testing neflamapimod on individuals with DLB at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute, which is affiliated with Providence Saint John's Health Center. The trial will enroll individuals diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia associated with DLB. Individuals with DLB live an average of 7 years after diagnosis. Because there are no approved treatments for this condition, individuals are often given drugs for Parkinson disease (PD), but the treatment is not as effective.

"We are very pleased to offer this opportunity for patients to enroll in a clinical trial aiming to improve cognitive outcomes in DLB," said Dr. Petrossian. "Because the study drug might reduce inflammation in the brain and allow for increased formation of the connections between brain cells, there is good reason to hope this drug will not only improve clinical cognitive function but also change the course of the condition." 

"Patients with dementia with Lewy bodies face a very challenging condition with cognitive and behavioral changes as well as movement abnormalities, symptoms similar to those of Parkinson disease and imbalance," Dr. Petrossian noted. "To date, management of these symptoms has been limited because there are no treatments approved for the disease. As a result, cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil and rivastigmine often are used even though they are not yet approved." 

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