A drug derived from blood could halt and even reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease according to a new study.
Early trials of Kiovig have demonstrated that the new treatment had a significant stabilizing effect on people with the degenerative disease - halting the shrinkage of the brain and maintaining memory and speed of thought.
Now, Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York and the drug company Baxter International have launched a much larger trial to confirm the early results, reports the Telegraph.orbert Riedel, chief scientific officer of the company, said that the early results had been "striking".
Kiovig, or Gammagard as it is known in the US, is the brand name of an immunotherapy product already used for the treatment of a variety of immune disorders.
The product, which is really a mix of antibodies derived from human blood, is known generically as immune globulin and is applied intravenously once a fortnight.
It contains antibodies against a protein called beta-amyloid, which many Alzheimer's researchers believe plays a pivotal role in the progression of the disease.
One of the early trials, published in the journal Neurology, found that the drug reduced the progression of Alzheimer's by as much as 42 per cent.