Alzheimer’s – Be Part of the Solution

By Dr. Keegan –

Participants of clinical trials are the heroes that aid in the development of new drugs and treatments from which the rest of the world can benefit. Each drug and medical treatment available on the market has been able to surface because of brave and willing clinical trial participants.

Now, more than ever, we need volunteers for Alzheimer’s research as we continue to test investigational products and approaches to treat the disease. Unfortunately, it has been more than a decade since a medication was introduced to treat Alzheimer’s. The importance of qualifying participants for ongoing clinical studies is vital for advancement in the treatment of this often times debilitating disease.

The Roskamp Institute
The Mission of The Roskamp Institute is to conduct scientific research to discover safe and effective new drug therapies to successfully treat diseases of the mind and to promote healthy aging.

The main goal of the Roskamp Institute is to discover new and effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Previous work by the Institute’s lead researchers (Dr. Michael Mullan and Dr. Fiona Crawford) has shown that certain genetic variations may cause or predispose humans to Alzheimer’s disease.

Sarasota happens to have one of the highest densities of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers in the world. Volunteers are needed for studies of new treatments and medications. Patients in all stages of Alzheimer’s are encouraged to participate, from those who suspect they have a memory disorder because they are frequently forgetful to those who are in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. Subjects undergo a screening evaluation to determine if they are eligible for participation.

Below are some of the Clinical Trials relating to memory that are currently enrolling:
Human involvement in clinical studies is crucial for medical researchers to be able to properly assess the efficacy and safety of new drugs and treatments. It is important for clinical trial staff to enroll patients into the study, so that benefits and risks of the products can be evaluated and reported back to the pharmaceutical sponsor of the trial.

Open Memory Analysis Study
This study is open to anyone without a diagnosis of memory loss. People are encouraged to have their memory tested early and continue with annual tests to track changes in memory function. This is the best way to ensure the earliest possible intervention if you are in fact experiencing memory loss. If you have any concerns or are worried that you may have another memory disorder, schedule a free memory screening at Roskamp Institute. The earlier a disorder is detected, the better the chances are for preventing mild to severe dementia. There is no study medication involved.

Mild Cognitive Impairment Trial
If you are worried about a loved one’s memory, or your own, you may be interested in this trial. Changes in the brain begin years before Alzheimer’s is diagnosed. Researchers now think treatment needs to be started at an earlier stage, before a diagnosis is usually made, when the symptoms are still mild. Dr. Andrew Keegan, a board certified neurologist, is participating in an international research study with a new investigational medication given at this earlier stage, to see if it can slow the symptoms of the disease.

Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s
Eligible participants for this study include those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and/or Vascular Dementia This study tests the anti-inflammatory effectiveness and safety of a dietary supplement.

Alzheimer’s and Agitation Trial
The goal is to intervene before the disease reaches the later stages that often times results in anger and agitation. Patients are not always openly violent; there are other symptoms such as: pacing, staring aggressively, overreacting to simple comments, being uncooperative with daily activities such as bathing or eating. A care giver may just sense that the patient is simply not at peace, or constantly mad or upset about something. This study is designed to help determine if the product is safe and better than what is currently available to help minimize the agitation effects of Alzheimer’s.

Memory problems are not an inevitable part of aging. If you are concerned about a loved one’s memory or your own, it’s important to see a doctor early. Patients need to meet certain criteria to participate in each study, such as age. Some trials require a caregiver to participate as well. Patients will continue to see their current physician even while participating in the study. Qualified participants will receive study-related treatment and evaluation at no charge. No insurance is needed.

The quality of research performed at the Roskamp Institute reflects its motto: “Better science. Real discovery.” Please contact the Roskamp Institute Clinic at (941) 256- 8018 ext. 354 or 355 to learn more about the current trials that need participants.

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