SIU Medicine is Now Enrolling Alzheimer’s Patients For a New Clinical Trial

By Asia Watson on April 21, 2021 at 2:07pm

The Dale and Deborah Smith Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment at SIU Medicine is enrolling patients and looking for eligible people to be studied. This research will help determine if an investigation drug is effective at treating this deteriorating condition. This will also assess safety and efficacy of donanemab, which is an antibody.

SIU Officials say Alzheimer’s disease causes significant memory loss and decline in thought processes. It involves problems with memory, thinking, language, and judgment. Recurring memory loss or difficulty finding the right words to express yourself could be signs of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

MD, professor of neurology, and principal investigator for the clinical trial Tom Ala says, “This study addresses a great research need. Participants could make an important difference in the world of our Alzheimer’s patients.” Ala says “currently, no FDA-approved medications exist to slow down Alzheimer’s disease,” But in an initial trial of a new drug, participants had shown significant slowing in measures of cognition and daily functions.

The release says participants in the clinical trial will receive a monthly infusion over a period of 17 months. Half of those enrolled will receive the study drug; the other half receives a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, those who received the placebo may be eligible to receive donanemab. The study will also require a blood test to determine the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.

To be eligible to participate, patients must be 60 to 85 years old and have memory loss that has worsened over time. They must also have a partner or caregiver who spends at least 10 hours per week with the patient and is willing to attend the appointments. All qualified participants will receive study-related medical exams and the study drug at no cost. There may also be a time and travel compensation.

For more information about the study and enrollment, contact Chaille Karl at 217-545-2261 or ckarl73@siumed.edu.