University College London Hospitals Clinical Trial Represents New Approach to Alzheimer’s

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), University College of London Hospitals (UCLH), and Clinical Research Facility at the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre at Queen’s Square are taking a novel and unprecedented approach to materially impacting Alzheimer’s Disease progression.

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Sir Mark Pepys is a well known investigator in this field. Known as the DESPIAD trial, investigators will determine whether a drug known to remove serum amyloid P component (SAP) (a protein) from the brain helps Alzheimer’s disease patients materially impact progression and symptoms.

Billions of dollars have been invested by public and commercial sponsors, however, no effective treatment has been discovered as of yet. Nearly all treatments have focused on abnormal fibrous protein accumulations (amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) which happen to always be present when Alzheimer’s has been diagnosed. The drugs involved in this study are being investigated to see if they can remove and/or prevent the formation of these deposits. Investigators speculate that the proteins involved with the abnormal fibers are somehow connected to the formation of the disease. However, it is presently unknown what actually triggers the degradation and  loss of brain cells leading to dementia.

Lead Research/Investigator:

Professor Sir Mark Pepys