Anemia Drug May Be Useful in Treatment of AIDS-Related Dementia
The anemia drug erythropoietin, which is sold by Amgen as Epogen and Aranesp and by Johnson & Johnson as Procrit and Eprex, may be used to treat AIDS-related dementia, the New York Times reports. Dr. Stuart Lipton, scientific director of the San Diego, Calif.-based Burnham Institute's Del E. Webb Center for Neurosciences and Aging, has formed a company called NeuroMolecular and is planning to begin a clinical trial using EPO to treat the illness. Treating people who are not anemic with EPO typically is risky because the drug increases the amount of red blood cells in the patient's system to potentially dangerous levels. However, because HIV-positive people are often anemic the increase in red blood cell levels "would not be a problem," Lipton said, according to the Times (Pollack, New York Times, 7/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.