Important investigational drug trials are conducted at the University of Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease Center and Penn Memory Center. These include
INFUSION Studies: Elan, and IVIG
Amyloid-beta (Aß) is the pathological protein produced in the brain in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. It forms deposits that are the basis for the neuritic plaques pathologists use to confirm the presence of the disease. These plaques may contribute to neuron loss which results in the memory and cognitive impairments that characterize the disease.
A major aim in the search for effective Alzheimer’s treatment is to develop drugs to prevent and/or eliminate these pathologic deposits from the brains of patients while they are still in the mildest stage of the illness. Preliminary research in both animals and humans suggests that antibodies directed against this pathologic protein can accomplish that goal.
These studies test experimental antibodies aimed at reducing or eliminating amyloid beta in the brain of persons with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
PILL studies: Gamma Secretase, and TTP
A number of different proteins and enzymes are necesary in the production of amyloid beta. These studies test experimental agents aimed at interfering with particular protiens and enzymes which are necessary in (Aß) production, in persons with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
Sampling of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) through a process known as lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is often an important part of Alzheimer's Disease research.
Learn the facts - not the frightening fiction - about CSF sampling.
More Information on Clinical Trials Research
If you would like to learn more about research in general, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) have produced many informative articles, books and fact sheets about research practice. The following links are a few examples:
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