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Clinical Trial In Las Vegas Aims To Prevent Alzheimer’s Symptoms

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, December 10, 2022 9:54 am

Clinical Trial In Las Vegas Aims To Prevent Alzheimer’s Symptoms

LAS VEGAS – Alzheimer’s disease can be emotionally and physically taxing for both sufferers and those who care for someone with the disease. That is why the Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas is participating in a clinical trial for a potential new medicine aimed at delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms, and they need your support.

Approximately 49,000 Nevadans have Alzheimer’s disease, and 48,000 family caregivers suffer the burden of caring for a loved one with the disease, putting in an estimated 79 million hours of unpaid care.

“My mother came up with some symptoms for some memory impairments,” said Robert Lathrop, a trial participant.

Lathrop is one of the Nevadans who must care for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease.

“My father died, and we had to take her to a memory care center, and this became kind of a personal thing for me,” Lathrop explained.

Just last month, positive phase three results for the medicine lecanemeb were published, demonstrating that it is helpful in treating patients who are now experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty making decisions, or caring for themselves.

“Lecanemeb is a drug that removes a protein from the brain called amyloid, and we know that this molecule is the initiator of Alzheimer’s disease,” explained Cleveland Clinic doctor Charles Bernick.

The Cleveland Clinic, a prominent health center in Las Vegas, is now launching the forward study, which will test the medicine in people who are not suffering symptoms to check if they have that amyloid protein in their brain.

“The notion is that if we can remove the amyloid out of the brain before patients have symptoms, we may actually impact the illness and possibly prevent or delay Alzheimer’s symptoms,” Bernick explained.

Lathrop is taking part in the four-year study.

“When I think of Alzheimer’s or dementia in general, it’s really upsetting because there’s nothing you can do,” Lathrop said. “You just want to do something when you visit your relatives or other people, and this is something I can do.”

According to Doctor Bernick, persons who enroll in the experiment must be over the age of 55, have a family history of Alzheimer’s, and have noticed some changes in their own lives.

“We merely take a blood test,” Bernick explained. “We can now actually measure the amyloid protein in the blood, which is a significant advancement.”

They proceed to the next phase if they can identify the amyloid protein in the blood.

“Imaging of the brain to confirm that the amyloid is truly accumulating in the brain, and then of course they would be eligible to participate in the trial,” Bernick explained.

“Pretty just telling you throughout the entire process about what it’s going to take, how long it’s going to take, where it’s going to go, and for me it was really easy,” Lathrop said.

Lathrop expressed gratitude for being able to participate in the trial despite not knowing whether he is receiving the true medicine or a placebo.

“I’m going to contribute data for the research and help the study come up with some results that I think will be beneficial otherwise,” Lathrop explained.

Credits: Fox 5 Vegas

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