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Injections Clear Alzheimer's Plaques From Laboratory Mice

March 01, 2001

Alzheimer's plaques have been cleared from the brains of laboratory mice by injecting antibodies directly into their skulls, Boston researchers report in the March Nature Medicine. Researchers have previously reported that antibodies produced by vaccines can prevent plaque buildup, but the new report represents the first time existing plaques have been destroyed, said Dr. Bradley Hyman of Massachusetts General Hospital. The team reported that 70% of the plaques were removed in just a few days.

The study also represents the first time that researchers have been able to see plaques in living animals. Plaques are too small to be seen with MRI or CT scans, but the team used a new microscope to reveal the presence of the destructive deposits.

--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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