Home » 'Game changing' £6.9m trial of volunteers boosts hope of Alzheimer’s breakthrough

'Game changing' £6.9m trial of volunteers boosts hope of Alzheimer’s breakthrough

Bran scan / hands of patient with dementia GETTY

£ 6.9million a trial could mark a turning point in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease

British study, announced today and supported by the medical Research Council, aims to identify biomarkers, signs that allow early diagnosis when obvious symptoms are not yet present.

The success could herald a revolution in the treatment of Alzheimer, because drugs are used to stop their advance before irreparable brain damage.

Between 2002 and 2012, 99 percent of clinical trials that test new therapies failed. One likely reason is that drugs are tested in people whose brains have been damaged already.

Experts believe that the clear symptoms such as severe memory loss, confusion and mood changes appear after the disease has progressed.


evidence of treatment may be more effective if given before – but in a way be found out to identify patients earlier.

A total of 250 participants will be subject to a maximum of 50 tests in the study of deep and frequent phenotype. In his motion measurements it will be included and the fly using laptops and retinal imaging devices to detect subtle changes that affect vision.

blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid samples will be analyzed. Potential biomarkers both alone and together established evidence, such as brain imaging and assessments of memory and thinking are used.

Professor Simon Lovestone, of the University of Oxford, said: “We know that Alzheimer’s begins long before being noticed.

Doctor looking at brain scansGETTY

Between 2002 and 2012, 99 percent of clinical trials testing new therapies not

We know that Alzheimer’s begins long before being noticed

Professor Simon Lovestone

“Studies have shown changes in the brain within 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear.

” If we can identify biomarkers present at this very early stage, with the possibility that the treatment of the disease before, which is vital if we are to avoid damaging the memory and thinking people. “

Some of the volunteers will be considered at risk for Alzheimer’s disease because of their age, genes, and -test memory performance.

About 850,000 people in the UK are thought to suffer from some form of dementia, most have Alzheimer’s disease.

within 10 years the number of patients with dementia in the UK is expected to reach one million, rises to two million 2051.

dementia represents a cost plus the UK of £ 26 . billion a year – more than £ 30,000 per person with the disease

Matt Murray, charity Alzheimer’s Society, which helped a pilot study, said: “This exciting research will help transform our understanding of the early signs and symptoms of dementia, supporting researchers to ensure that they recruit the right people.

“With the help of the Alzheimer’s Society, people in the early stages of dementia tried out the procedures that are involved and shared their experiences to ensure that the trial would be daunting for others. While people were nervous about some of the evidence, this stage try-out makes them feel more comfortable recommending the study to other people. ”

Patient with Alzheimer's looks at old photosGETTY

Dementia and costs the UK £ 26billion over one year – more than £ 30,000 per person affected

possible assay UK Dementias Platform, an association of £ 60 million publicly private addressed by the MRC.

Collaboration between universities and pharmaceutical companies and technology experts together.

Dr. Rob Buckle, MRC, said. “This is the first major clinical study based on UK Dementias Platform and the results could change the game

” Finding biomarkers for clinical trials is crucial for fast-track decision as to whether a trial should stop or continue, and the faster you can find out which drugs work and which do not, faster than can benefit patients. ”

Man with Alzheimer's disease GETTY

The trial was made possible by public-private- partnership £ 60 million led by the MRC

Yesterday, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said he wanted the UK to be ‘ the best place in the world for dementia diagnosis and support, as well as being a world leader in the effort to find a cure. This additional investment is a major step towards that goal. ”

Professor Chris Whitty, scientific adviser at the Department of Health, said: “By working together, the National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council are at the forefront of new and potentially important treatments for dementia

. ” This important study is expected to encourage more people to participate in our high quality research to help discover a clearer picture of the causes and possible solutions for dementia. “

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