Mild-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease
Over the last 30 years, researchers have made remarkable progress in understanding healthy brain function and what goes wrong in Alzheimer’s disease. The following are examples of promising targets for next-generation drug therapies under investigation in current research studies:
- Beta-amyloid is the chief component of plaques, one hallmark Alzheimer’s brain abnormality. Scientists now have a detailed understanding of how this protein fragment is clipped from its parent compound amyloid precursor protein (APP) by two enzymes — beta-secretase and gamma-secretase. Researchers are developing medications aimed at virtually every point in amyloid processing. This includes blocking activity of both enzymes; preventing the beta-amyloid fragments from clumping into plaques; and even using antibodies against beta-amyloid to clear it from the brain. Several clinical trials of investigational drugs targeting beta-amyloid are included below in the key clinical trial summaries.
|Beta-amyloid Protein and Alzheimer’s (approx 13 min.)|
- Tau protein is the chief component of tangles, the other hallmark brain abnormality. Researchers are investigating strategies to keep tau molecules from collapsing and twisting into tangles, a process that destroys a vital cell transport system.
- Inflammation is another key Alzheimer’s brain abnormality. Scientists have learned a great deal about molecules involved in the body’s overall inflammatory response and are working to better understand specific aspects of inflammation most active in the brain. These insights may point to novel anti-inflammatory treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
|Inflammation, the Immune System and Alzheimer’s (approx 30 min.)|
- Insulin resistance and the way brain cells process insulin may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are exploring the role of insulin in the brain and closely related questions of how brain cells use sugar and produce energy. These investigations may reveal strategies to support cell function and stave off Alzheimer-related changes.
|Insulin and Alzheimer’s (approx 22 min.)|
Gauging treatment impact with brain imaging and biomarkers
In addition to investigating experimental drugs, many clinical trials in progress include various brain imaging studies and testing of blood or spinal fluid. Researchers hope these techniques will one day provide methods to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest, most treatable stages — possibly even before symptoms appear. Biomarkers may also eventually offer better methods to monitor response to treatment.
|Quest for Biomarkers (approx 17 min.)|
Clinical trial participants must:
- Be diagnosed with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease or experiencing noticeable memory loss
- Be under the age of 90
- Have a spouse, family member, friend or caregiver accompany them to study visits (either 9 visits over 14 months or 11 visits over 22 months)
Qualified participants who complete the study will receive $1050 in compensation to account for time and travel.
Visit www.AlzheimersStudies.com to:
- Measure your memory with our cognitive assessment tool
- Take the survey to see if you can participate!