A Stanford University study is in the early stages. The goal is to see if plasma transplants help ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The plasma is taken from the blood of young healthy adults and is then administered to an Alzheimer’s patient through a blood transfusion. So far the early results are promising.
The original PLASMA study was done on elderly mice. When plasma from young adults was transplanted into the mice, there were some improvements. The research moved to men and women with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s and took place over a six-month period. Again, the study showed signs of improvements in the patients’ conditions.
How Did the Trial Work?
The participants were given a transfusion of plasma from a group of adults between the ages of 18 and 30 or a saline solution and were not told which they received. Over a period of four weeks, the transfusions took place. There was a six-week hiatus and then a new round of transfusions began. In this second round, those who were receiving placebos now got the plasma and vice versa.
The participants came to Stanford about once a week during the trial. At that visit, cognition and mood were assessed. Family caregivers also shared their observations while caring for the patient. The only side effect that seemed to be related to the transfusions was itching.
What Happens Now?
With the first trial, only 18 Alzheimer’s patients took part. The true test was to see if plasma injections were safe. The Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center wants to hold a larger study with more participants and observations perhaps lasting as long as a year.
What if Your Parent Has Alzheimer’s?
Talk to your mom or dad’s doctor to see if it’s possible to get in on the trial. It’s likely that the study will focus on people within driving range of Stanford University. If this one isn’t possible and your parent is interested in doing a trial, see if their doctor can recommend any.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is hard physically and mentally. Make sure you’re focusing on your own health, too. Take breaks as often as you need. One of the easiest ways to do this is by having a caregiver take over while you go out.
Caregivers are trained to help with many aspects of Alzheimer’s care. From grooming to meals, a home care professional is there to keep your mom or dad safe and calm.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Spring Branch, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author