Blood Pressure Drugs to Slow Alzheimer’s – New Clinical Trial Launched

A new clinical trial is being launched to test a common blood pressure drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. The trial, known as RADAR, is being funded by a £2m investment from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and will see around 230 participants being treated with the drug losartan.

The trial is being hosted by North Bristol NHS Trust and run by scientists from the University of Bristol, Cambridge and Queen’s University Belfast. Previous research has suggested that the drug could hold benefits for the disease by increasing blood flow and triggering biological processes important for protecting brain cells from the effects of Alzheimer’s.

The research team will use brain scans and memory and thinking tests to assess the effects of losartan on brain shrinkage and memory. The researcher spearheading the clinical trial is Dr Pat Kehoe, Administrator of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Network in Bristol.

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Recruitment for the trial is set to begin in August 2013 and those who are interested are asked to email dementia-research@bristol.ac.uk or visit www.dendron.nihr.ac.uk for more information.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“The ultimate test of any potential new treatment strategy for Alzheimer’s is success in clinical trials, so it is encouraging to see this trial getting underway. Alzheimer’s Research UK funded some early research into this area in the past and we are very interested to see whether the findings from these studies will translate into patient benefits.

“Despite over half a million people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s, there are no treatments available at the moment that can slow or stop the disease. The funding for this project has come from the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge, which pledged in 2012 to increase funding for dementia research. This trial is evidence of how crucially this funding is needed and how vital sustained funding for dementia research will be in the future.”

This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.

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