Jefferson Studies New Drug to Prevent or Delay Alzheimer's Disease in Its Early Stages
Jefferson clinicians and researchers hope patients with Alzheimer's disease will benefit from a new drug study currently under way.
The new drug, to undergo clinical trials by a team from the Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, is designed to prevent or delay development of Alzheimer's disease in its early stages.
Jefferson is one of 40 centers in the United States participating in this clinical study, and the only university hospital in this region conducting the clinical trials, notes Patricio F. Reyes, MD, Professor of Neurology, Jefferson Medical College, and Director, Alzheimer's Center. The clinical program will involve more than 30 patients and last at least two years.
About four million Americans have Alzheimer's disease today, including half of the population over age 85. The disease claims more than 100,000 lives a year and is the fourth leading cause of adult deaths.
"It is hoped that this medication will delay, if not stop, the development of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease by attacking the immune-related or inflammatory-related abnormalities in the brain," Dr. Reyes says.
Seeking Patient Volunteers
Participation in the study is free and voluntary. Volunteers will be required to have blood tests, clinical, behavioral and neuropsychological examinations, and periodic medical and neurological assessments by Jefferson staff.
"Ideal volunteers for the study will be men and women, with a caregiver, who are age 65 or older and who have mild memory loss or early dementia but are otherwise in good health," Dr. Reyes says.
In addition, volunteers must not be on any of the following medications: aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS); heparin; warfarin or any anticoagulants; estrogen; vitamin E; gingko biloba; corticosteroids; cholinesterase inhibitors; and some anti-depressants.
The drug may have some side effects including dizziness, nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort.
For more information about Jefferson's Alzheimer Center, please call 215-955-8119 or 1-800-JEFF-NOW.