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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2001 Nov-Dec;12(6):408-14.

Treatment of Alzheimer's disease with clioquinol.

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Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Göteborg University, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Mölndal, SE-431 80 Mölndal, Sweden.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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