Five-year plan of clinical trials aimed at improving Alzheimer’s treatments

A five-year plan that involves four clinical trials of drugs and other treatments for Alzheimer’s disease will be undertaken by a consortium of medical centers across the United States and Canada, the National Institutes of Health announced.

The program, which will be conducted at 70 medical sites in both countries, is called the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. It is part of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, which is combining research, medical care and services for patients with the condition and related forms of dementia.

“I am particularly excited that this round of studies will use what we have learned by testing interventions pre-symptomatically, as early as we can in the development of the disease, where we now think the best hope lies for keeping Alzheimer’s at bay,” said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging.

The combined clinical trials could cost as much as $55 million over the course of the five years. Patients diagnosed in the early stage of the disease will be tested. One of the treatments of particular interest to researchers is the generic drug prazosin, which will be tested to see if it can reduce agitation in those with Alzheimer’s.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. The group estimates that as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by 2050 unless progress is made to find better preventative methods or a cure for the disease.

One of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s is a loss of memory. Supplements such as EZ Melts Energy, Memory and Mood Enhancer  from Dr. Newton’s Naturals promotes cognitive function through a mix of B vitamins and other nutrients. EZ Melts are believed to lower homocysteine levels, which have been associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.