Thursday, May 17, 2012

Drug to Prevent Alzheimer's to Be Tested

In a clinical trial that could lead to treatments that prevent Alzheimer’s disease, people who are genetically destined to develop the disease—but who do not yet have any symptoms—will for the first time be given a drug intended to stop it, the New York Times reported yesterday. The drug, crenezumab, attacks amyloid plaques in the brain. Many Alzheimer’s researchers believe that development of amyloid plaques is a primary cause of Alzheimer’s. The five-year trial will be sponsored by NIH with funding from Genentech, the drug's manufacturer. 

Study participants will come from the world’s largest family to experience Alzheimer’s, an extended clan of 5,000 people who live in Medellín, Colombia, many of whom have a genetic mutation that ensures that they will develop the disease. Three hundred family members will participate in the initial trial, some of whom will be years away from symptoms, some as young as age 30.
The Times report is here
. To read the latest information on Alzheimer's diagnosis and treatment, see the new edition of the Clinical Manual of Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias from American Psychiatric Publishing. To read more about Alzheimer's research, see Psychiatric News here.

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