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Drug trial seeks patients with Alzheimer's

Patients in a mild to moderate stage of Alzheimer‘s disease are being sought for the clinical trial of a drug that aims to alter or delay memory loss.

The drug, T-817MA, is being tested nationwide in a phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study. Upstate Medical University hopes to monitor about 15 people for the study, says Amy Sanders, MD, director of cognitive and behavioral neurology at Upstate and the principal local investigator.

Sanders is excited about the trial drug because it works on the tau protein, rather than the amyloid protein on which other Alzheimer‘s drugs have focused.

Hear an interview with Sanders about this trial

Patients of either gender who are between 55 and 85, have been diagnosed with Alzheimer‘s and are taking donepezil (Aricept) or using the rivastigmine (Exelon) transdermal patch are eligible. They must have a partner or caregiver who understands English, and both must give informed consent and commit to an appointment at Upstate‘s Institute for Human Performance every four to six weeks for a year. The study pays patients $2,500, in increments.

Ineligibility factors include clinically significant heart, liver or kidney impairment; non-Alzheimer‘s dementia; and taking galantamine (Razadyne) or oral rivastigmine. Nursing home patients are ineligible; those in assisted living will be evaluated for eligibility.

For more information or to enroll, contact physician assistant Kimberly Amodio at 315-464-9005 or [email protected].