Alzheimer’s study needs volunteers

A Penticton research team is going to be one of two sites in B.C. awarded a study for a new drug treatment for Alzheimer’s.

A Penticton research team is going to be one of two sites in B.C. awarded a study for a new drug treatment for Alzheimer’s, and volunteers are needed.

The Penticton team, part of the Medical Arts Health Research Group, will be joined the UBC Brain Institute in the study.

To better understand why Alzheimer’s occurs and develop potential treatments, scientists and researchers focus on that brain tissue for someone with Alzheimer’s has far fewer nerve cells and synapses (junction between two nerve cells) than a healthy brain and plaques appear to build up between nerve cells.

Plaques are formed when protein pieces called beta-amyloids get sticky and clump together.

The drug, an antibody, is thought to bind to the sticky clumps of the protein beta-amyloid in the brain and cause cells to digest away the plaque. Clinical studies this past spring showed patients experienced a significant reduction of beta-amyloid in the brain and importantly, a slowing of their clinical decline.

“We are thrilled to be selected to be a clinical site for this important trial and to be able to bring this opportunity to the Okanagan,” said Donna Benson, Medical Arts Health Research Group CEO. “Dr. Melinda Nichols will be working with us on this study along with a strong team of nurses, doctors and coordinators. Since travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed, we expect to be able to enroll patients from all over the Interior, and as far away as Calgary.”

If you or a loved one have concerns with your memory, or have already been diagnosed with memory loss, there are still spaces available for volunteers to participate in this new study. You will have access to the support of a specialized team of health care providers, who will closely monitor your health and you may gain access to new treatments before they’re widely available. You do not have to leave your current doctor.

“As in all medical trials, eligible participants will receive comprehensive study-related medical care, monitoring and study medication at no cost while participating.” said Benson.

To find out if you or a loved one is eligible to participate in the study or for further information, please call The Medical Arts Health Research Group at 1-888-490-4320 or visit the web at HealthResearch.ca.