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Treatment of Alzheimer's disease with clioquinol.

Journal article
Authors Björn Regland
W Lehmann
I Abedini
Kaj Blennow
Michael Jonsson
Ingvar Karlsson
Magnus Sjögren
Anders Wallin
M Xilinas
Carl-Gerhard Gottfries
Published in Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders
Volume 12
Issue 6
Pages 408-14
ISSN 1420-8008
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Pages 408-14
Language en
Keywords Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, blood, cerebrospinal fluid, drug therapy, Chelating Agents, administration & dosage, adverse effects, therapeutic use, Chelation Therapy, methods, Clioquinol, administration & dosage, adverse effects, therapeutic use, Copper, blood, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Female, GAP-43 Protein, cerebrospinal fluid, drug effects, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Treatment Outcome, Zinc, blood, tau Proteins, cerebrospinal fluid, drug effects
Subject categories Neurochemistry


As heavy metal ions may be implicated in the formation of senile plaques in Alzheimer-afflicted brains, treatment with clioquinol was tested in 20 patients with Alzheimer's disease. Clioquinol is a chelator that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has greater affinity for zinc and copper ions than for calcium and magnesium ions. Treatment was given for 21 days at doses of 20 mg/day to 10 patients and 80 mg/day to another 10 patients. The study was blind to the dosages but included no controls. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) investigations revealed a significant increase at day 7 and a decrease at day 21 in Tau protein and growth-associated protein (GAP43). These proteins are increased in Alzheimer's disease and considered as rather stable markers. The initial increase may indicate a temporary cytotoxicity to the brain and/or an increased release into the CSF from stores in the tissue, possibly from senile plaques where the proteins are accumulated. The levels of CSF-Tau protein correlated positively and significantly with the serum levels of copper and also with the serum copper/zinc ratio. Clinical ratings showed slight improvement after 3 weeks treatment with clioquinol in this open study.

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