Low Dose Seizure Medication May Benefit Early Alzheimer’s Disease

Arnold Bakker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Division of Psychiatric Neuroimaging Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21287MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Arnold Bakker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
Division of Psychiatric Neuroimaging
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21287

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Bakker: Patients who are at increased risk for developing dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease show hyperactivity in an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critically important for memory function. This study investigated the functional significance of this hyperactivity and determined if, similar to animal studies, treatment with low dose levetiracetam would reduce this increased activation and improve memory function in these patients. Results showed that this overactivity is a dysfunctional condition that contributes to the memory impairment such that treatment with very low doses of levetiracetam both reduces this overactivity and improves memory function in these patients.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Bakker: Low dose Levetiracetam treatment potentially confers benefit to patients in the earliest symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease, prior to the clinical presentation of dementia, but more studies are needed before recommendations can be made for patient treatment.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Bakker: The findings from this study are very promising and point to a role for low dose levetiracetam as a therapeutic in the pre-dementia stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Next a phase 3 clinical trial, registered with the FDA, is planned to further assess the efficacy assess the efficacy in preserving cognition and memory and assess its potential to delay the progression to the clinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The sponsor for that trial will be AgeneBio, Inc,, which is a biopharmaceutical company founded out of Johns Hopkins technology transfer.

Citation:

Response of the medial temporal lobe network in amnestic mild cognitive impairment to therapeutic intervention assessed by fMRI and memory task performance

Arnold Bakkera, , , Marilyn S. Albert bGregory Kraussb, Caroline L. Specka, Michela Gallagherc

NeuroImage: Clinical Volume 7, 2015, Pages 688–698

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arnold Bakker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor (2015). Low Dose Seizure Medication May Benefit Early Alzheimer’s Disease