Introduction: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia. It has a complex pathophysiology that is not yet completely understood, where multiple central, systemic, and environmental factors play a key role in disease progression. Understanding the multifactorial nature of AD is paramount to formulate new therapies.
Areas covered: The authors reviewed the role of the amyloid-β-binding, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties of albumin in AD and the use of therapeutic plasma exchange (PE) in neurology. The results from the Alzheimer Management By Albumin Replacement (AMBAR) trial that combined the use of PE with albumin replacement in patients with mild-to-moderate AD, are also analyzed.
Expert opinion: Findings from the AMBAR study provide encouraging results in the treatment of AD with PE and albumin replacement, especially in patients at the moderate stage of the disease, who showed less cognitive decline from baseline compared with placebo in most of the variables analyzed. Further research is warranted to ascertain the possible mechanisms of action underlying these results. Different cohorts of patients that may also benefit from this treatment, such as those with mild cognitive impairment or other types of dementia, could also be the target of additional studies.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; albumin; amyloid-β; neurodegenerative disease; plasma exchange; therapeutic plasma exchange.