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Clioquinol (Topical route)

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Clioquinol belongs to the family of medicines called anti-infectives. Clioquinol topical preparations are used to treat skin infections. Clioquinol is available without a prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Vioform
Drug classes About this
Antifungal

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Dementia: A NICE-SCIE Guideline on Supporting People With Dementia and Their Carers in Health and Social Care

This guideline has been developed to advise on supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of health and social care professionals, a person with dementia, carers and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to practitioners and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for those with dementia while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for people with dementia and carers.

There is no evidence that MPACs (PBT1 or PBT2) are of benefit in Alzheimer's dementia

The protein amyloid‐β (Aß) is strongly implicated in the development of Alzheimer's dementia, where it aggregates in clumps causing damage and death of brain cells. This clumping is encouraged by copper and zinc (metal ions) in the brain. Metal protein attenuating compounds (MPACS) bind strongly to copper and zinc (this is known as chelation), both preventing the clumping together of Aß and promoting processes which may cause it to dissolve and so be cleared from brain cells. Therefore MPACS may be a potential therapy for Alzheimer's dementia. Two different types of MPAC have been used in clinical trials and the drugs are known as PBT1 and PBT2. The trial of PBT1 compared with placebo (in 36 patients) showed no statistically significant difference in cognition or memory between the active treatment and placebo groups at 36 weeks. We therefore conclude that there is no current evidence that treatment with clioquinol (PBT1) has any significant effect on cognition and in particular memory (as measured by the ADAS‐Cog scale) in patients with Alzheimer's dementia. This drug has now been withdrawn from development. The trial of PBT2 showed it was safe after 12 weeks of treatment but demonstrated no overall significant effect on cognition or memory.

Interventions for skin changes caused by nerve damage in leprosy

Three million persons are affected by nerve damage caused by leprosy (Hansen's disease) worldwide. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. About 30% of people with leprosy develop nerve damage that can lead to loss of normal sensation and skin damage. The skin can crack and become infected and ulcerated. Impairment of the affected limb, caused by nerve damage, can result in severe joint deformity and injuries. The major areas affected by sensory loss are the hands (especially the palms), feet (especially the soles) and eyes. The drug therapy offered to those with leprosy is efficacious and has low relapse rates. However, even with treatment, many with leprosy will go on to develop secondary damage to skin and limbs as the nerve damage sustained cannot be reversed. In some, treatment leads to inflammatory reactions in the nerves, sometimes resulting in further damage.

Summaries for consumers

There is no evidence that MPACs (PBT1 or PBT2) are of benefit in Alzheimer's dementia

The protein amyloid‐β (Aß) is strongly implicated in the development of Alzheimer's dementia, where it aggregates in clumps causing damage and death of brain cells. This clumping is encouraged by copper and zinc (metal ions) in the brain. Metal protein attenuating compounds (MPACS) bind strongly to copper and zinc (this is known as chelation), both preventing the clumping together of Aß and promoting processes which may cause it to dissolve and so be cleared from brain cells. Therefore MPACS may be a potential therapy for Alzheimer's dementia. Two different types of MPAC have been used in clinical trials and the drugs are known as PBT1 and PBT2. The trial of PBT1 compared with placebo (in 36 patients) showed no statistically significant difference in cognition or memory between the active treatment and placebo groups at 36 weeks. We therefore conclude that there is no current evidence that treatment with clioquinol (PBT1) has any significant effect on cognition and in particular memory (as measured by the ADAS‐Cog scale) in patients with Alzheimer's dementia. This drug has now been withdrawn from development. The trial of PBT2 showed it was safe after 12 weeks of treatment but demonstrated no overall significant effect on cognition or memory.

Interventions for skin changes caused by nerve damage in leprosy

Three million persons are affected by nerve damage caused by leprosy (Hansen's disease) worldwide. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. About 30% of people with leprosy develop nerve damage that can lead to loss of normal sensation and skin damage. The skin can crack and become infected and ulcerated. Impairment of the affected limb, caused by nerve damage, can result in severe joint deformity and injuries. The major areas affected by sensory loss are the hands (especially the palms), feet (especially the soles) and eyes. The drug therapy offered to those with leprosy is efficacious and has low relapse rates. However, even with treatment, many with leprosy will go on to develop secondary damage to skin and limbs as the nerve damage sustained cannot be reversed. In some, treatment leads to inflammatory reactions in the nerves, sometimes resulting in further damage.

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