Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Advanced Composites
Amorphous Metal Structures
Analysis and Simulation
Asbestos and Substitutes
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
Automation Equipment
Building Materials
Bulk Handling and Storage
CFCs and Substitutes
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone

Case researchers to test epilepsy drug as treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Case Western Reserve University : 31 January, 2007  (Technical Article)
A medication that has been around for 40 years and successfully used to treat epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder may provide new hope for the more than 4 million Americans suffering with Alzheimer's disease.
The University Memory and Aging Center of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland is one of 30 institutions participating in a national study to determine if the medication valproate can reduce the occurrences of problem behaviors and affect the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The $10 million 'VALPORATE IN DEMENTIA' study, led by the nationally renowned Alzheimer's research group at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will target 300 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's who are living at home and have not yet shown signs of agitation. Alzheimer's patients experience personality changes with symptoms of agitation: easy to anger, low frustration level, and at its worst, physical aggression. The latter is one of the primary symptoms that prompt families to place loved ones in a skilled nursing facility.

Scientists will study whether patients who take valproate experience less agitation, as well as whether valproate will affect the deterioration of memory and daily functioning that occurs as the disease progresses. And, according to Alexander Auchus, M.D., clinical director at UMAC, there's good reason to conduct this study.

'When we began to look at valproate in the laboratory, we were amazed to see that this simple drug blocked several key molecular events that we know are involved in the progression of Alzheimer's,' Auchus said. 'We are eager to learn whether these neuro effects that valproate exhibited in the laboratory will also occur in Alzheimer's patients.'

The VALPROATE IN DEMENTIA study is the first of its kind to study an agent that may have the potential to block 'tangles,' one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease linked with memory loss and other symptoms of dementia. Tangles are abnormal brain tissue structures formed by abnormal processing of a protein called tau. Normally, tau is crucial for intracellular functioning and structure, but in Alzheimer's patients, a stringy cluster of tau and phosphate molecules form, leading to dysfunction that impairs the cell's ability to communicate with neighboring cells. This eventually leads to cell death, contributing to the confusion, disorientation and forgetfulness associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The study will follow the 300 patients over two years; UMACenter hopes to enroll 10-15 patients in the trial.

The VALPROATE IN DEMENTIA is funded primarily with a grant by the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Abbott Laboratories is donating valproate and the placebo medication, as well as the funds to finance the two ancillary studies.
Bookmark and Share
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
   © 2012
Netgains Logo