New alzheimer's drug shows promise in clinical trial

Alzheimer's expert Aisen leads research on novel treatment

Washington, DC--The only drugs currently available for Alzheimer's patients are those that alleviate symptoms, but a team of scientists led by Paul Aisen, MD, director of the Memory Disorders program at Georgetown University Medical Center, is testing a new class of drugs that actually target the molecule believed to cause the disease. Aisen and his colleagues report that a compound called tramiprosate reduced levels of a marker for the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a Phase II clinical trial in the November 1 electronic version of Neurology.

"Everyone wants to figure out how to create an Alzheimer's treatment that attacks the amyloid peptide, which is considered to be the molecular cause of the disease," said Aisen. "This is the most advanced anti-amyloid treatment that exists--it has the potential for slowing down progression of the disease."

Aisen and his team are currently in the midst of Phase III clinical trials on tramiprosate (manufactured by Neurochem, for which Aisen is a scientific advisor, as ALZHEMEDTM) and hope to have results by early next summer. Media should call 202-687-5100 to schedule an interview with Aisen or to be connected with another Georgetown expert on the topic.

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November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month.

Notes for members of the media:

In addition to Dr. Aisen, G. William Rebeck, PhD, associate professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, is also available as an Alzheimer's resource for members of the media. Rebeck is a neurogenetics expert who studies genetic risk factors for developing Alzheimer's and related memory disorders.

Both Aisen and Rebeck will participate in an expert panel at Georgetown University Medical Center's second annual Alzheimer's Research Report and Luncheon on November 14, 2006 at 11 a.m. The discussion, which will be moderated by Trish and George Vradenburg, active fundraisers for Alzheimer's research and awareness, will be held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Washington, DC. Media are invited to attend and should email rjw43@georgetown.edu to register.

About Gerorgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis--or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, and the world renowned Lombardi Cancer Center.


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