A new study is now enrolling and accepting volunteers to investigate the potential of a new drug to slow the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease on patients’ memory and physical activity. Eligible participants include men and women with ages between 55 to 85 years old suffering from mild to severe Alzheimer’s. Participants’ partners, such as a spouse or adult children or even close friends, will also participate in the study. All the expenses related to the study, including medication, study-related procedures and testing and study care visits will be provided at no cost to the participants. Additionally, all enrolled participants will be paid for time and traveling. Alzheimer’s represents a huge health and personal cost, currently affecting 5.1 million Americans. With increasing aging population, Alzheimer’s incidence is expected to rise substantially, as estimated by the National Institute on Aging who reported that the risk for Alzheimer’s double with every five years after the 65 years old.
The study is conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and led by Muhammad Aslam, MD, an associate professor in the UC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and Robert Krikorian, PhD, specialist in cognitive diseases and member of the Memory Disorders Center at the UC Neuroscience Institute. The study is sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co.,Inc.
The study will be divided into two phases – Phase I and Phase II. In Phase I, participants will be administered with the investigational drug or a placebo control over 78 weeks, to determine the drug’s efficacy and safety. Phase II will be opened for participants who complete the previous Phase I. At this time, all patients (in Phase II, there is no placebo group ) will be administered with the compound for a period if 260 weeks, to understand the drug effects on Alzheimer’s over a long-period of administration.
The University of Cincinnati is one of the centers participating in the study, which includes in total 78 centers throughout the world.
Robert Krikorian, PhD noted, “In addition to administering the investigational drug, we will be doing MRI brain scans and memory testing.”
Muhammad Aslam, MD added that, “Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s dementia, but medications exist that have been shown to improve quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients or help control its behavioral symptoms, and studies are continuing to develop new therapies and medications.”