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September 19, 2006

Roskamp Institute Marks World Alzheimer's Day by Announcing the Launch of Major Clinical Study on Promising New Alzheimer's Treatment

Institute makes history as first ever Florida-based research team to conduct human clinical studies to test original Alzheimer's treatment research


SARASOTA, FL – The Roskamp Institute of Sarasota, Florida, today announced the launch of a major clinical study to test a promising new drug application for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. The announcement, timed to coincide with this week's World Alzheimer's Day, marks the first time that a Florida-based research institute has conducted human clinical studies resulting from its own original Alzheimer's research. World Alzheimer's Day is this Thursday, September 21.

The new 18-month study, which will be conducted in partnership with the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin, Ireland, will help determine if the hypertension (high blood pressure) drug Nilvadipine could be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In pre-clinical studies on mice, Nilvadipine was found to decrease the levels in the brain of a protein called ßamyloid. It is the presence of ßamyloid in the brain that is believed to cause the onset of Alzheimer's. The drug was also found to increase the flow of blood to the brain, which is believed to be beneficial in the treatment of the disease.

The purpose of the study is to determine whether the drug will have the same effect on humans suffering from Alzheimer's as it did in the pre-clinical studies on mice. The pilot study will be a first step in trying to develop a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease, and if successful, could change the direction of other studies of dementia. The study will be directed by Roskamp researchers Doctors Michael Mullan and Fiona Crawford, as well as a team of top neuroscience researchers in Ireland.

This study is both exciting for the Roskamp Institute and its researchers, and encouraging for the millions of Alzheimer's sufferers,” stated Dr. Mullan, the institute's executive director. As scientists, we are always cautious when testing new drug therapies and are careful not to unrealistically raise expectations and hopes too high. The road to finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease is a long one, but it is our hope that the research gained through this study will put us one step closer to that ultimate goal.”

I can think of no better way to commemorate World Alzheimer's Day than by announcing this exciting new clinical study,” stated Chuck Albrecht, senior vice president of the Alzheimer's Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, which through its nine regional offices provides support to people living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers, patient and family services, education, advocacy and research.

We are all proud that some of the world's most cutting-edge Alzheimer's research is being done right here in Florida at the Roskamp Institute,” Albrecht continued. On behalf of the Alzheimer's Association, I would like to congratulate the Roskamp Institute on the launch of their new study, and wish them all the best in the hope of its success.”

While the clinical study itself will be conducted in Ireland, there are several supporting studies which will be conducted in the Tampa Bay area. To assist with its research, the Roskamp Institute is looking for volunteers who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Participants will be asked to give a small amount of blood on three occasions over a four-week period. Though no drug will be administered during this research, this investigation will provide critical data to supplement the human clinical study being conducted in Ireland.

As we prepare to observe World Alzheimer's Day, it is fitting to note that people here in Florida can play a direct role in aiding the research we are doing in Ireland,” stated Dr. Fiona Crawford, the institute's deputy director. The fight against Alzheimer's is going to take a global effort and the Roskamp Institute is honored to be playing a part.”

The Roskamp Institute is devoted to understanding causes of and finding cures for diseases of the mind like neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. The Institute utilizes a broad range of scientific approaches to understanding the causes of and potential therapies for these disorders with an emphasis on Alzheimer's disease.

For more information please contact the Roskamp Institute in Sarasota (941) 752-2949, the Roskamp Institute Roskamp Institute Clinic in Tampa (813) 979-2008, or visit us online at www.rfdn.org.

CONTACT: SARAH BASCOM
(850) 294-66

 

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