New clinical trial in Las Vegas aims to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease can be emotionally and physically draining for patients as well as those caring for someone with the disease.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 3:56 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Alzheimer’s disease can be emotionally and physically draining for patients as well as those caring for someone with the disease. That is why the Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas is taking part in a trial for a promising new drug that aims to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms and they need your help.

About 49,000 Nevadans live with Alzheimer’s and 48,000 family caregivers bear the burden of caring for a loved one with the disease, providing an estimated 79 million hours of unpaid care.

“My mom came up with some symptoms for some memory issues,” said Robert Lathrop who is participating in the trial.

Lathrop is one of those Nevadans who has to care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s.

“My dad passed away and we had to take her to a memory care unit, and this became kind of a personal thing for me,” said Lathrop.

Just this month, positive phase three results for the drug lecanemeb was effective in treating those who currently experience Alzheimer’s symptoms which include memory loss, difficulty making judgments or caring for themselves.

“Lecanemeb is a medication that removes a protein from the brain called amyloid and we know this protein is the instigator for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Doctor Charles Bernick with the Cleveland Clinic.

Now, the Cleveland Clinic, a large health organization in Las Vegas, is starting what is called the ahead trial which aims to test the drug in patients who are not experiencing symptoms to see if they have that amyloid protein in their brain.

“The idea is if we can get the amyloid out of the brain early before people have symptoms, we can actually impact the disease and possibly prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Bernick.

Lathrop is participating in the four-year trial.

“When I think about Alzheimer’s or dementia in general it is so frustrating because you can’t do anything,” said Lathrop. “When you see your relatives, or you see other people you just want to do something and this is something I can do.”

Doctor Bernick says those who participate in the trial have to be over the age of 55, have a family history of Alzheimer’s and notice some changes themselves.

“We actually just do a blood test,” said Bernick. “So we can actually measure the amyloid protein in the blood now which again is really a new advance.”

If they can identify the amyloid protein in the blood, they go on to the next step.

“Imaging of the brain to confirm this is actually happening that the amyloid is being accumulated in the brain and then of course they would be eligible to participate in the study,” said Bernick.

“Really just informing you throughout the whole process about what it is going to take, how much time it is going to take, where it is going to go and for me it was really easy,” said Lathrop.

Lathrop said even though he doesn’t know if he is on the actual drug or the placebo he is still thankful to participate in the trial.

“I am going to provide data for the science and help the study come up with some conclusions at the end which I think are going to be valuable otherwise,” said Lathrop.

To participate in the trial click HERE.