Medical professionals at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland will conduct two new studies to find ways to prevent forms of dementia.

Dr. Alan Lerner, director of the Brain Health and Memory Center at the hospital, and professor of neurology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, is the principal investigator of the studies.

Lerner will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a drug called LMTX, produced by TauRx Therapeutics Ltd., in people with frontotemporal dementia through clinical trials, and will determine whether or not a specific antibody can slow down or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients over 65.

“Frontotemporal dementia affects people at an earlier age than other forms of dementia,” Lerner said in a news release from University Hospitals. “It’s a devastating disease for patients and their families because it affects the front part of the brain, which can change an individual’s personality, behavior, language and other skills.”

The doctor behind the studies said the second study, known as The A4 study, aims to give families the answer to Alzheimer’s Prevention.

“(Families) have wanted to know for years when we would be able to start testing how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” Lerner said in the release. “The A4 study is one of the first, and a major step, in that direction.”

University Hospitals is part of a national clinical trial testing LMTX. The drug targets tau tangles, protein aggregations that strangle brain cells and result in dementia. The release said the study seeks to confirm results from an earlier study that provided results proving that the drug can dissolve tangles and slow or prevent frontotemporal dementia from advancing.

Amyloid is a protein that forms in the brains of older individuals, and can create amyloid plaque deposits. Solanezumab, an amyloid antibody, may be able to prevent deposits from forming and slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Adults from age 65 to 85 who do not have signs of memory loss can enroll in the study, and medical professionals will scan their brains to see if there is an elevated level of amyloid plaques.

The hospital is the only site in Ohio for these studies and plans to enroll 40 people in the A4 study. More information on all of the studies is available at a4study.org and FTDstudy.com.

dhess@cjn.org

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