Study on the therapeutic potential of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg)
Study on the therapeutic potential of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Immunoglobulin for intravenous injection (IVIg) is prepared from thousands of donations of human plasma. Because of their anti-inflammatory effects, IVIg’s are successfully used in the treatment of several auto-immune diseases. It was recently suggested that IVIg could provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, a disease which nearly 300 000 Canadians suffer from but for which there is no effective treatment or reliable diagnostic test. IVIg’s are currently the focus of a phase III study on the treatment of Alzheimer’s. The results obtained so far are promising.
Wide scale use of IVIg’s in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, a widespread disease, would exhaust available supplies of IVIg’s, also used by patients suffering immune deficiencies who have no other alternative treatment. We are therefore pursuing our efforts, and this research project, financed by the Héma-Québec Foundation and the result of a collaboration between Dr. Frédéric Calon of the University of Laval Hospital Centre Research Institute, and Dr. Renée Bazin of Héma-Québec, could widen its scope to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The Chair in Transfusion Medicine
Héma-Québec Foundation – Bayer at the University of Montréal
Increasingly, blood products are used in medicine and surgery for treatment in major areas, including transplants, heart surgery, hematology-oncology and in the delivery of emergency services. Although physicians do acquire knowledge in these fields during the course of their studies, there are few or no specific teaching programs on the optimal use of labile and stable blood products in Québec universities. It is essential that a new generation of doctors be efficiently trained in the use of blood products in scientific, clinical and economic terms. In a joint effort involving Héma-Québec and its Foundation, the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), its Foundation and other partners, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montréal has agreed to develop such a program.
The Chair in Transfusion Medicine allows for both the training of young doctors and the development of a research program focused on gaining a better understanding of how blood products work, thereby resulting in a better use of these products.
The teaching and research programs target the following objectives:
- To define the specific indications for the different labile and stable blood products in various clinical contexts;
- To define the optimal use of transfusions;
- To reduce the infectious and immunological complications related to transfusions;
- To optimize the overall use of this resource through the dissemination of knowledge based on meaningful data.
The Chair in Transfusion Medicine is truly an innovative project. In short, it aims to make a breakthrough for the greater benefit of patients. For this reason, the Héma-Québec Foundation proposed a partnership with Bayer Inc. in order to carry out this major project with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montréal and the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal.