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SIU Medicine enrolling patients in investigation of Alzheimer's drug

SIU Medicine enrolling patients in investigation of Alzheimer's drug

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SPRINGFIELD — The Dale and Deborah Smith Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment at SIU Medicine is enrolling patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease to help determine if an investigational drug is effective at treating this debilitating condition.

The study will assess the safety and efficacy of the drug donanemab in patients with early symptoms of Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's disease causes significant memory loss and a measurable decline in thought processes. It involves problems with memory, thinking, language and judgment. Recurring memory loss or difficulty finding the right words to express yourself could be signs of the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Participants in the clinical trial will receive a monthly infusion over a period of 17 months. Half of those enrolled will receive the study drug while the other half will receive a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, those who received the placebo may be eligible to receive donanemab. The study will also require a blood test to determine the presence of Alzheimer's disease.

In an initial trial of the new drug, participants showed significant slowing of decline on measures of cognition and daily function.

On the same day that U.S. Census officials announced that Illinois would lose a seat in Congress because of population decline, Gov. J.B. Pritzker answers a question about why people are leaving the state.

To participate, patients must be 60 to 85 years old and have memory loss that has worsened over time. They must also have a partner or caregiver who spends at least 10 hours per week with the patient and is willing to attend appointments. All qualified participants will receive study-related medical exams and the study drug at no cost. They may also be compensated for time and travel.

Dr. Tom Ala, professor of neurology at SIU Medicine, is the principal investigator for the clinical trial.

The Dale and Deborah Smith Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment at SIU Medicine has been one of three state-designated Illinois Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Centers since 1986.

For more information about the study and enrollment, contact Chaille Karl at (217) 545-2261 or ckarl73@siumed.edu.


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