Low-dose whole brain radiation therapy for Alzheimer's dementia: Results from a pilot trial in human subjects.

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International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics


PURPOSE: To report neurocognitive, imaging, ophthalmologic, and safety outcomes following low-dose whole brain radiation therapy (LD-WBRT) for patients with early Alzheimer's dementia (eAD) treated on a pilot trial.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Trial enrolled patients were at least 55 years of age and had eAD meeting NINCDS-ADRDA criteria, with confirmatory FDG and Florbetapir PET findings, and had the capacity to complete neurocognitive function (NCF), psychological function (PF), and quality of life (QOL) assessments, with a Rosen Modified Hachinski Score12 months.

RESULTS: Five patients were treated with LD-WBRT (2Gy x 5 over 1 week; 3 female; mean age 73.2 years {range 69-77}). Four of 5 patients had improved (n=3) or stable (n=1) MMSE-2 T-scores at 1 year. The post-treatment scores of all 3 patients who improved increased to the average range. There were additional findings of stability of naming and other cognitive skills, as well as stability to possible improvement in imaging findings. No safety issues were encountered. The only side effect was temporary epilation with satisfactory hair regrowth.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results from five subjects with eAD treated with LD-WBRT (10 Gy in 5 fractions) demonstrate a positive safety profile, and provide preliminary, hypothesis-generating data to suggest that this treatment stabilizes/improves cognition. These findings will require further evaluation in larger, definitive, randomized trials.


Online ahead of print.





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