Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease Preventative Drug to Begin Early 2013

May 21, 2012

After an announcement by federal officials approving clinical trials for the drug Crenezumab, researchers searching for a way to treat Alzheimer’s Disease are gearing up for a rare study that will allow them to test a therapy for a genetically predestined disease - before its onset.

“This is really incredible,” said UC Santa Barbara neuroscientist Ken Kosik, who is the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research in the Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, and co-director of UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute. He, along with several other Alzheimer’s experts in the United States and Colombia, will be conducting the five-year, $100 million study, starting early next year.

The scientists will be drawing their study participants from a large family in Medellín, Colombia. It’s a family of about 3,000, with the unfortunate distinction of coming down with the disease early in life — onset begins at around 49 years of age. Unlike the kind of Alzheimer’s that strikes late in life, this particular form has been traced to a specific genetic mutation.

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