Alzheimer's Patients Needed for Stanford Study.
STANFORD, Calif. -- A national team of scientists is trying to determine if an experimental drug, called a RAGE inhibitor, can help Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease (ăls`hī'mərz, ôls–), degenerative disease of nerve cells in the cerebral cortex that leads to atrophy of the brain and senile dementia. patients with memory loss and other symptoms. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine is affiliated with Stanford University and is located at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California, adjacent to Palo Alto and Menlo Park. are among those looking for Looking for
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"The number of Alzheimer's patients is expected to triple or even quadruple by the year 2050," said J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD, who is leading the Stanford portion of the multicenter study. "We don't want people to be completely infirm INFIRM. Weak, feeble.
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More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, which is characterized by an excessive amount of proteins that build up in plaque deposits and cause damage to nerve cells and inflammation in the brain. The disease was recently ranked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. as the sixth-leading cause of death in the country, and societal costs of Alzheimer's amount to nearly $150 billion each year.
The drug being tested in this study seeks to stop the protein amyloid beta from binding to a receptor in the brain called RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation endproducts). In earlier studies, inhibiting the RAGE protein in animal models led to a reduction of plaque formation.
The researchers hope that by blocking plaque-caused nerve damage and inflammation, this drug will slow the progressive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease in humans. But regardless of how the drug performs in the study, Ashford said the research is crucial to scientists' understanding of the disorder.
"This type of research helps us learn more about the disease and study it more effectively," said Ashford, a senior research scientist with the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center, a joint project of Stanford University and the Veteran Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.
During the 18-month, double-blind study, which will involve 400 volunteers at 40 sites nationwide, participants will receive either the drug or a placebo pill. Researchers will monitor the participants during regular visits and measure disease progression using standard cognitive tests. They will also examine various biological markers of the disease, using magnetic resonance imaging magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), noninvasive diagnostic technique that uses nuclear magnetic resonance to produce cross-sectional images of organs and other internal body structures. to measure the degree of shrinkage in the brain and positron emission topography to assess the extent of amyloid amyloid /am·y·loid/ (am´i-loid)
1. starchlike; amylaceous.
2. the pathologic, extracellular, waxy, amorphous substance deposited in amyloidosis, being composed of fibrils in bundles or in a meshwork of polypeptide buildup in the brain.
Researchers are looking for people age 50 or older who have been diagnosed as having probable Alzheimer's disease or dementia. They must be currently taking medication for their disease and have a caregiver or family member who can accompany them to each study visit.
Those who are interested in learning more about participating should contact Ellen Kim at (650) 496-2578 or the national Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center at (800) 438-4380.
The study is being conducted by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a consortium of leading researchers supported by the National Institute on Aging The National Institute on Aging is a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, located in Bethesda, Maryland.
Formed in 1974, NIA's mission is to improve the health and well-being of older Americans through research. It is the primary U.S. , and is led by researchers at the University of California-San Diego. Funding for the study comes from Pfizer, which manufacturers the drug being tested.
Stanford University Medical Center Stanford University Medical Center (Stanford Hospital & Clinics) is one of four hospitals affiliated with Stanford University and Stanford University School of Medicine, along with the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, and Santa integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions -- Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH) is a hospital located on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California. It is staffed by over 650 physicians and 4,750 staff and volunteers. at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.