Alzheimer's trials under way

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 6, 2006

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Several new trials to test drugs to combat Alzheimer's disease and to investigate new methods for conducting dementia research are getting under way at 70 sites in the United States and Canada.

The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, a federal consortium, will receive $52 million over six years to carry out the trials.

Docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, will be examined to see if it will slow decline. Additionally, intravenous immunoglobulin, which contains naturally occurring antibodies against beta-amyloid, will be studied to see if it improves cognition. Lithium's biologic action, which has been shown in animals to block abnormal changes in the tau protein, will be studied for safety and efficacy, and home-based assessments will be tried to see if elderly, frail people will be more likely to participate in trials if telephones and computers are employed rather than visits to clinical centers.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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