New studies raise hopes for Pfizer, J&J Alzheimer's treatment

New studies are raising hopes that bapineuzumab, an experimental Alzheimer's drug, may be safer than researchers for Pfizer and J&J had expected after cases of brain swelling were reported among the patients taking the drug. The condition could decrease over time, according to scientists. "It looks like we can treat people for a number of years safely," Dr. Steven Salloway of Butler Hospital and Brown University in Providence, RI, told the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Paris. Since a dozen Alzheimer's patients had a brain-swelling condition in a 2008 study of bapineuzumab, the FDA has made developers perform additional testing on patients who are in trials for such treatments and has restricted patients from participating if they have had more than two occurrences of certain small blood leaks in the brain. Story

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