How Typical Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Work
The Alzheimer’s prevention studies that we are enrolling is for people of ages sixty to seventy five and the people of normal age but they are concerned about their memory, maybe because of their family history of Alzheimer’s or they want to contribute to this study. Anyone can join the study but you have to be genuinely healthy, things like high cholesterol and diabetes are okay but something like cancer or some major surgery can exclude someone but in general, most people are eligible to join the study. You can do some memory test based on which you can include or exclude someone based on their memory score. Studies can give us preventions from severe Alzheimer’s disease.
The very first thing we do is we take a piece of saliva sample and we are looking for a specific marker which is called EPOE4. Everybody makes EPOE but it comes in different variations as EPOE2, EPOE3 and EPOE4. The individuals containing EPOE4 are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and more the copies of EPOE4 you have more likely you are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s based on your genetics. There are lot of things that play role in risk factors as exercise, high cholesterol, eating right and being active but the genetics play the major role as a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s.
This studies takes 5 years as the visits are just once in three months and we study how people progress in next five years and how many people develop the memory problem and how many diagnose during this course of five years. What we are trying to do is to reduce is the amount of amyloid in brain. One of the theory of causes of Alzheimer’s is having excess of amyloid in brain. So we are reducing the amount of amyloid in brain and we do some plaques sets starts to accumulate, tau tangle and the nerves breakdown in the brain. We target reducing amyloid in brain in this particular study medication.
From pre-clinical studies, we do not have any cure but we have a lot of medication and promises to slow down the memory to decline down. Somebody who is probably going to decline down over the next five years based on the amyloid we see in brain, genetic makeup and other risk factors like high cholesterol diabetes would generally develop Alzheimer’s over the next five years but with these medications we will slow it down to fifteen to twenty years. It’s not a cure but it’s certainly slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s.