Page last updated at 01:10 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Alzheimer's drug trial to be run by Glasgow clinic

As many as 417,000 people in the UK are living with Alzheimer's

A treatment which may help prevent the onset of advanced Alzheimer's is to be tested in a ground-breaking year-long clinical trial.

Glasgow Memory Clinic is now enrolling patients to test the effectiveness of an experimental drug called dimebon.

More than 1,000 selected patients from around the world will take part in the testing, called a "concert trial".

It is hoped dimebon will help by improving memory, cognition and the ability to care for oneself.

The trial is open to patients currently taking Aricept, which is a leading medication for Alzheimer's disease worldwide.

Glasgow Memory Clinic (GMC) founder Dr Fraser Inglis said he was optimistic the trial could make advances in the treatment of the disease.

Clinical benefit

He said: "Alzheimer's is a complex disease and while current medications may improve the symptoms for some patients for a time, often the disease continues to progress. Therefore, combination therapy may be the method to maximise clinical benefit.

"Concert is an important study because dimebon is thought to work differently to current medications and this study will evaluate whether adding it to one of the most commonly used Alzheimer's medications will provide a more effective symptomatic treatment to patients, stabilising their condition and ultimately improving their quality of life."

Dr Inglis added: "A cure for Alzheimer's is still many years away, however treatments that provide lasting effects, more symptomatic benefits or slow disease progression would offer meaningful benefits for patients and their carers."

The Alzheimer's Society estimates as many as 417,000 people in the UK are living with the condition, which hinders their ability to remember, learn, perform daily activities and relate to others.

Patients or caregivers interested in participating in the trial are invited to contact the GMC - which is based in the West of Scotland Science Park - for information.

Concert is an international, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that will enrol approximately 1,050 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease.

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