HOPE FOR ALZHEIMER’S BREAKTHROUGH by Richard Chace
7/5/2016 at 17:58
More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and every 66 seconds someone in the US develops the disease. Researchers have been working hard for many years to find a cure for the disease. During an appearance on the Today show on June 21, Maria Shriver described a new clinical trial that is making headlines in the Alzheimer’s community and it’s need for volunteers.
According to Shriver’s website, the new drug, A4, “for the first time, may slow or reverse the disease before symptoms occur. Alzheimer’s is known to be associated with the buildup of a protein, called amyloid, in the brain. This protein has been linked with cognitive decline and memory loss. The A4 drug, administered once a month, is designed to stop amyloid buildup.” The drug aims to stop the disease before symptoms start and is designed to be given to patients that show early warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
Harvard neurologist and Alzheimer’s researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Reisa Sperling, is leading the new drug trial, and she is leading a 3 1/2-year study that will monitor patients’ cognitive skills and brains to see if the drug has an impact, compared to people taking a placebo.
How is the drug expected to work? Alzheimer’s is associated with amyloid, a heavy protein buildup in the brain and the buildup has been linked to cognitive decline and memory loss. Solanezumab, the drug under development, is designed to stop the amyloid buildup in patients who experience early warning signs and is currently being tested in the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s study (also know as A4 study).
According to Shriver, the study “will monitor patients’ cognitive skills and brains to see if those on the drug do better than those on a placebo.” And the study is still looking for about another 400 people to sign up, at research centers all across the country.
For more information about the A4 clinical trial and how you can volunteer, go to A4study.org, or call 1-844-A-4-STUDY. For more information about other Alzheimer’s clinical trials in your area, go to Alz.org.
You can see Maria Shriver’s Today show report to learn more about these clinical trial.
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